Christmas is a wonderful time of the year with good food, desserts, decorations and presents. It is also a time of the year to keep our beloved pets safe. Many of the things we enjoy at Christmas time can be dangerous or even fatal to our pets if we are not careful. Here is a list of Holiday Pet Safety Tips from the ASPCA to ensure even your pets can have a wonderful Christmas:
Christmas trees: Can tip over if pets climb them or try to play with the lights and ornaments. Tie your tree to the ceiling or a doorframe. Water additives for Christmas trees can be hazardous to your pets. Do not add aspirin, sugar or anything to the water for your tree if you have pets in the house.
Ornaments: Broken ornaments can cause injuries and ingested ornaments can cause intestinal blockage or even toxicity. Keep any homemade ornaments, particularly those made from salt-dough or other food-based materials, out of reach of pets.
Tinsel and other holiday decorations: Consuming them can cause intestinal blockages, sometimes requiring surgery.
Electric lights: Can cause burns when a curious pet chews the cords.
Flowers and festive plants: Amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, poinsettias and holly are among the common holiday plants that can be dangerous and even poisonous to pets who decide to eat them. The ASPCA offers lists of plants that are toxic to dogs and cats.
Candles: Never leave a pet alone in an area with a lit candle; it could result in a fire.
Potpourris: Liquid potpourris contain essential oils and cationic detergents that can severely damage your pet’s mouth, eyes and skin. Solid potpourris could cause problems if eaten.
Chocolate: Is toxic to dogs and cats. Other sweets and baked goods also should be kept out of reach. Not only are they often too rich for pets; an artificial sweetener often found in baked goods, candy and chewing gum, xylitol, has been linked to liver failure and death in dogs.
Turkey and turkey skin: Small amounts can cause a life-threatening condition in pets known as pancreatitis.
Table scraps: Including gravy and meat fat should be kept away from pets. Some foods poisonous to pets include onions, raisins and grapes. Yeast dough can cause problems for pets, including painful gas and potentially dangerous bloating.