Winter Holiday Hazards for Pets

With the holiday season is just around the corner, here are some helpful tips to keep your pets safe during this festive time. Plants and other items associated with the winter and holiday season can be toxic to your pets. The following are very general guidelines please always consult your veterinarian for specific advice and treatment recommendations.

1) Poinsettias are generally over rated in toxicity. If ingested, they are irritating to the mouth and stomach, causing mild gastrointestinal signs.

2) Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal or cardiovascular problems.

3) Holly ingestion could cause vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.

4) Lilies are frequently included in holiday arrangements. They are highly toxic to cats and cause kidney failure.

5) You should keep your pet away from the Christmas tree water. It may harbor bacteria and may be toxic if it contains fertilizer.

6) Tinsel on the tree is very attractive to pets but if ingested can lead to an obstruction requiring surgical intervention. Keep glass ornaments higher on the tree to avoid ingestion or lacerations if broken.

7) Ribbon or yarn from holiday packages can create an intestinal obstruction if ingested.

8) Potpourris are common household fragrances. Liquid potpourri can cause severe oral, skin and ocular damage. Dry potpourri may cause obstructions and gastric irritation if ingested.

9) Keep electric cords away from your pets. This can be an especially dangerous problem for the curious puppy or kitten. If they are chewed they can cause electrocution.

10) During the holidays, we often indulge in special meals to celebrate. Please avoid any of these holiday food items that can be harmful or toxic to your pet:

Onions, onion powder
Fatty foods
Yeast dough
Raisins or grapes
(a sugar free sweetener)

By following some simple rules, the holiday season can be happy and healthy for all of our pets.