There’s lots of fun to be had during the holidays, but also quite a few hazards for your pet. Here are a few safety tips to keep your pet jolly this season.
- Keep chocolate and sweets out of reach. The darker the chocolate, the higher the concentrations of caffeine and theobromine, two substances that are extremely toxic to pets. Xylitol, an artificial sweetener often found in candy, peanut butter and chewing gum, has been linked to liver failure and death in dogs.
- Curb the table scraps. Gravy and any fatty meats like turkey skin and ham are on the naughty list for pets. They can be hard for animals to digest and even cause pancreatitis.
- Christmas tree cautions. For many cats, the holiday tree is an endless source of fun…and danger. Consider tying your tree to a stationary object with fishing line to keep it from tipping. Water additives can be hazardous to your pets, so don’t add aspirin, sugar, or anything else to the water reservoir of your tree stand.
- Mistletoe & other poisons. Nice for getting a kiss, mistletoe is nevertheless dangerous for pets. Amaryllis, balsam, pine, cedar, and holly are also on that list. Poinsettias, while not as poisonous as some plants, are still troublesome for animals if ingested.
One of the most important things you can do to ensure your pet’s safety is to know the location and phone number of the nearest 24/7 emergency veterinary clinic. Also handy: The ASPCA Poison Control Line: 1-888-426-4435 (a fee may apply). They also maintain a current list of substances that are hazardous to pets.
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