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Pet Safety for the Holidays

December 15, 2015
Are you planning on including your pet in the holidays this year? By all means, do so—it’s a lot of fun! Make sure your animal companion stays safe, though. Use these tips from your Pickerington, OH vet to keep Fluffy safe from harm.

Tree Decorations

If necessary, place tinsel and tree ornaments on only the highest sections of your tree where pets can’t easily reach, or leave these decorations off entirely. Pets may see such items as sparkly and fun toys, but they’re far from it. Tinsel can cause intestinal obstruction, and ornaments may be present a choking hazard or break into small pieces that could cut a pet’s mouth or throat. Plus, a pet trying to get at such items may topple the whole tree over on top of themselves!

The Tree Base

Take care not to let your animal friend under your tree (if you decorate with a live tree, that is). Your tree’s base or anchor contains stagnant water that may serve as a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Plus, sharp pine needles littering the floor may be ingested by pets; these can actually puncture the intestinal lining when swallowed.

Wrapping Supplies

Having a family gift-wrapping session? It’s best to keep your pet a safe distance away. Wrapping paper, tape, twine, string, bows, and ribbons can all be ingested by pets and cause choking, intestinal blockage, and other health problems. Also make sure not to leave sharp scissors lying about on the floor; this isn’t safe for pets or human family members!

Hazardous Foods

The holidays are a time full of food, but much of it is harmful to pets. The list of potentially dangerous human foods includes onions, grapes and raisins, garlic, chives, chocolate, candy, gum, salt, fatty substances, caffeine, certain nuts, and much more. Alcohol is also very dangerous, as it can prove toxic to pets even in very small amounts. Keep a close eye on beer, liquor, wine, and champagne to make sure your pet doesn’t imbibe. Even certain foods made with alcohol, like rum-soaked cakes or pastries coated in an alcohol-based glaze, may prove harmful.

Candles and Fireplaces

Place candles cautiously; pets can accidentally swipe a tail through the flame, causing burns or startling them into knocking over candles. Fireplaces can also be hazardous, so make sure pets don’t lie too close. Ask your Pickerington, OH veterinarian for more holiday safety tips.