Beware of These Holiday Safety Hazards for Pets

Happy Holidays! If your family is like most, you’re probably delighted to include your pet in the festivities this time of year. Just make sure they stay safe! Below, your Ellicott City, MD vet tells you about the most common holiday hazards for pets and how to keep your animal companion safe and sound.

Decorative Dangers

Some pets see shiny tinsel and ornaments on your holiday tree as fun playthings; if swallowed, these items can cause intestinal obstruction and other problems. Also be sure that your tree is secured properly and that your pet can’t get at the stagnant water in the tree base—this water may contain bacteria and other contaminants that you don’t want your pet ingesting.

Toxic Foods

Plenty of holiday foods—everything from onions, garlic, chives, shallots, grapes, and raisins to chocolate, candy, fatty foods, salty snacks, and more—can cause serious harm to our animal companions. Keep your pet out of the kitchen when preparing your holiday meal, and don’t let guests slip your pet any morsels under the table.

Gift Wrapping Tips

It’s best to keep your pet elsewhere during that annual marathon gift-wrapping session. Many of our animal companions might decide to play with ribbon, bows, twine, or wrapping paper, and it can be harmful if these items are swallowed. Also be sure not to leave scissors lying about on the floor, where pets—or human family members—could step on them by accident.

Poisonous Holiday Plants

Did you know that holly and mistletoe can prove toxic to animals? Keep your four-legged friend away! Poinsettias aren’t likely to cause serious harm if swallowed, as has been suggested in the past; most likely, they’ll cause a bit of irritation in your pet’s mouth or throat. With that being said, it’s not worth the risk. It’s safest to have your pet keep their distance from any and all holiday plants.

Pet Anxiety

Are guests coming to your home this holiday season? It can be a very exciting—and stress-inducing—time for your animal companion. If your pet is one to be overwhelmed in large groups, try setting up a “safe zone” of sorts in a back room. Outfit a pet bed with a few soft blankets and some of your animal friend’s favorite toys, and take Fido or Fluffy there when guests start arriving.

For more great tips, contact your Ellicott City, MD animal hospital.

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