Avoid Those Holiday Pet Hazards

What’s your pet going to do when the house is filled with the sights, sounds and smells of the holiday and no one is looking? Probably get into trouble. This holiday, safe guard your pet against these common dangers.

dogMISTLETOE, especially mistletoe berries, can cause gastrointestinal upset and heart arrhythmia.

HOLLY leaves and berries can cause gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting and diarrhea.

EVERGREEN BOUGHS such as fir, balsam and pine, although not toxic, also cause minor irritation.

POINTSETTIA, despite its deadly reputation, will at worst cause irritation of the mouth, excess salivation and perhaps vomiting, but still should be avoided.

RED MAPLE LEAVES kill horses!  As little as one pound of dried maple leaves blowing into your horse’s pasture can be toxic. When ingested, these leaves result in a severe hemolytic anemia – it causes red blood cells to rupture, causing weakness, pale gums, an elevated heart rate and shock.

LILY FLOWERS such as the Asiatic, Tiger, Day and Stargazer lily (often found in holiday arrangements) can cause kidney failure in cats after eating just one petal or leaf.

HIBISCUS can cause vomiting and bloody diarrhea.

TINSEL can cause gastrointestinal blockages that can be life-threatening.

BUBBLE LIGHTS contain methylene chloride, a moderately toxic solvent.

LIQUID POTPOURRI is toxic to cats — even a few licks can result in severe chemical burns in the mouth, fever, difficulty breathing and tremors.

TREE PRESERVATIVES, although not toxic, is sugar-based and can nourish grow bacteria that may sicken a thirsty cat or dog.

FIRE SALTS highlight the beauty of the fireplace colors on a cold winter’s evening, but can cause gastrointestinal irritation with vomiting and even convulsions.

IMPORTED SNOWGLOBES contain deadly antifreeze and its sugar-sweet taste is particularly tempting. As little as one tablespoon of ethylene glycol antifreeze can kill a cat and a couple of ounces can kill a dog.

CHOCOLATE contains high levels of caffeine and theobromine, which can cause heart arrhythmia and death.

GRAPES, RAISINS & CURRENTS (and foods with them like fruit cake) can cause kidney failure in dogs.

SUGARLESS GUMS AND CANDIES that contain xylitol, a sweetener, is toxic to dogs — it causes a life-threatening drop in blood sugar and liver failure.     

BONES are dangerous! Hide those leftovers as bones will shatter and splinter and cause pain, intestinal puctures, and death.

HIGH-FAT LEFTOVERS, like gravy and turkey skin, can give your dog acute pancreatitis.

ALCOHOL in tiny amounts won’t cause a problem for pets, but three ounces of liquor in a 10-15 pound animal can depress its nervous system and stop its breathing.

BATTERIES if chewed will give acid burns in the mouth and physical damage from shards of metal.

ROCK SALT can cause irritation of animals’ paws or in their mouths and stomachs if they eat it — pet first aid for rock salt ingestion is simple: feed them a small meal with water or milk.

What do you do if think your pet has eaten something toxic? Contact the Pet Poison Helpline ($35 fee) or your local emergency veterinary clinic for immediate guidance.

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One Response to Avoid Those Holiday Pet Hazards

  1. Ray Gulick says:

    These are good reminders, and some new info. Didn’t realize the holidays posed so many hazards to something besides my bank account.

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