Holiday Pet Safety in Monroeville, PA
Safety may not be the first thing on your mind while you’re planning for the holidays, but your pet’s well-being depends on it. Even if your companion is well-behaved and more inclined to avoid celebrations, accidents can still happen. That’s why our animal hospital in Monroeville has some holiday pet safety tips to help you keep the holidays safe and “pet-friendly” for your four-legged family member.
Decorations & Plants
The biggest problem with holiday decorations is that they can easily become a choking hazard if your pet swallows them. Additionally, several of the most popular holiday plants are also very toxic to animals.
Use caution with the following items:
- Christmas tree: You shouldn’t have to forego putting up a Christmas tree, but you should make sure that your pet doesn’t drink the tree water or accidentally bump into the tree and knock it over.
- Ornaments: Any ornaments that are small enough for your pet to swallow them can be dangerous. Glass ornaments should be avoided or placed high up in the tree where the branches are sturdy and they’re less likely to be an easy target for a playful pet.
- Tinsel: Tinsel is lightweight and prone to falling off tree branches. If ingested, it can cause choking, blockage, and internal injury.
- Mistletoe, holly, Christmas cactus, and Jerusalem cherry: These plants contain toxic fruits and leaves that can cause serious illness in pets. Either keep them high out of your pet’s reach or avoid bringing them into your home altogether, just to be safe.
- Electrical cords: Does your pet like to chew? Keep electrical cords hidden from view or anywhere that they won’t get chewed on.
- Candles: Don’t keep lit candles where your pet can brush against them or knock them over. Open flames in general can be a huge risk. If you can, try flameless candles instead.
Foods to Keep Away from Your Pet
The following foods can make your pet very sick:
- Chocolate: Theobromine is a caffeine-like chemical found in virtually all types of chocolate, but especially dark chocolate, cocoa powder, and baking chocolate. It can cause heart problems, muscle tremors, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Bones: Whether they’re chicken, turkey, ham, or steak bones, any meat bone your pet decides to chew on can hurt their mouth, be a choking a hazard, or cause internal injury to the stomach or intestines.
- Onions, garlic, leeks, chives, and shallots: Any type of onion is liable to cause damage to your pet’s red blood cells and result in anemia. Whether they are uncooked, cooked, or dried, these members of the allium family are dangerous.
- Xylitol: Sugar-free gum, candy, and baked goods likely contain xylitol, a popular sugar substitute. However, if your pet ingests a reasonable amount, they could become very ill and even have seizures if they ingest enough.
- Macadamia nuts, walnuts, and pecans: Diarrhea and vomiting can result from ingesting these calorie-rich snacks in large quantities.
- Caffeine, alcohol, beer, wine, eggnog, etc.: Caffeine can affect your pet’s heart and cause muscle tremors. Alcohol can make your pet depressed, lethargic, and very sick.
- Butter, bacon grease, whipped cream, pie, and other rich treats: These foods are likely to cause gastrointestinal issues and leave your pet with an upset stomach.
Warn your guests about the dangers of these foods and beverages. We know how hard it is to refuse a pet handouts, but their health is important. Keep them happy with their own food and occasional treats instead!