Ornaments and Decorations
When decorating your tree, it is best to keep all hazardous decorations high enough so pets can not get to them. Some old fashion decorations, such as bubble lights, can contain toxic material that can do damage to your dogs gastrointestinal tract. In addition, it can cause depression, irritation to eyes and skin, and aspiration pneumonia. Any kind of bites to glass can cause cuts in the mouth, esophagus, and gastrointestinal tract. When hanging lights, keep the cords snug. Dogs and cats can get electrical burns in their mouths from chewing wire. Tinsel should be tossed if you own a cat. The shiny string of tinsel has a strong resemblance to a shiny cat toy with strings. If ingested, it can result in a linear foreign body. A linear foreign body is when your pet swallows a string-like object like tinsel. The tinsel wraps around the tongue or anchors in the stomach, making it impossible to pass through the intestines. This will cause severe damage to the intestinal tract possibly causing rupture which would require abdominal surgery.
The most commonly known holiday plant that is toxic to pets is poinsettias. However, there are other holiday plants that can cause bigger problems to dogs and cats, such as lilies, holly, and mistletoe. A lily can cause kidney failure if your cat takes one or two bits.
We love to eat delicious rich food around the holidays. It is best to keep our pets on a normal healthy pet diet. Dangerous holiday foods such as grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Chocolate and cocoa are toxic for both cats and dogs causing vomiting and diarrhea. Large amounts can cause seizures and heart arrhythmia. Leftover fatty meat can create abdominal pain with severe inflammation of the pancreas, and cause vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Sugarless gums and candy contain xylitol. Xylitol is a sweetener that can cause a life threatening drop in blood sugar and liver failure.
If you think your pet has been poisoned, contact your veterinarian or the pet poison helpline at 855-764-7661.
So be sure to keep these precautions in mind when planning your festivities so both you and your pets can have a safe and enjoyable holiday season. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happiest New Year!
I am an ABC Certified Dog Trainer and owner of Furry Tail Dog Training.
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