Remember to Make
Your Holidays Pet-Friendly
What Foods Can Harm My Pet?
There are plenty of people foods that are safe for your pet to eat (though they really should stay with their own food at all times). However, there are also a few things that might cause them harm. These include:
- Bones from chicken, turkey, ham, etc.—chewing on bones can fracture teeth, injure the mouth, cause choking, internal injury, or even intestinal obstruction.
- Keep any and all chocolate away from your pet, whether it’s milk chocolate, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, or semi-sweet chocolate chips. The theobromine found in chocolate can cause heart arrhythmia.
- Onions, garlic, chives, and leeks can damage red blood cells and cause anemia.
- If you have a bowl of mixed nuts sitting on the coffee table, you may want to move it to a safer location if it contains walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, and/or cashews.
- Grapes, raisins, and currants can put pets at risk for kidney failure.
- Rich dishes like sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie, and anything else containing nuts, whipped cream, chocolate, and nutmeg can cause gastrointestinal issues.
- Candies, cookies, and other baked goods containing xylitol, a sugar substitute, should always be kept out of your pet’s reach. Xylitol is highly toxic and may cause hypoglycemia.
What Decorations do I Need to be Careful With?
Common hazards associated with conventional Christmas decorations include:
- Christmas tree – the Christmas tree becomes the centerpiece of the home during the holidays, but it can also fall victim to pet antics. Keep it secured in a sturdy tree stand and position it in a corner where it is less likely to get tipped over.
- Tree water – the water in your tree stand contains pine/fir needles, tree sap, and may also have an additive to help keep the tree fresh. This water should be off-limits to your pet, as it may be very toxic.
- Open flames of any kind are a major fire hazard if they get knocked over or brushed against.
- Mistletoe, holly, and Jerusalem cherry are quite poisonous if ingested. If you have these in your home, place them on a high shelf or anywhere else your pet won’t be able to reach them.
- Tinsel, ribbon, string, and garland can cause choking or get wrapped around your pet by accident if they try to play with it.
- The electrical cords of light strands may cause injury to your pet if chewed. Be mindful about where you place these, along with extension cords and power strips.