Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter: Holiday Pet Safety Tips
By Jennifer Keene
The holidays can be stressful and even dangerous for your pets. While it is impossible to list every holiday hazard, here are a few big ones to be aware of.
Be Careful in the Kitchen
Pets will eat all sorts of things: other pets’ food, people food and things that nobody should eat. Your pets should never consume any of the following: chocolate, cocoa, macadamia nuts, raisins, grapes, yeast dough, sugarless gums, mints or anything else made with xylitol, and rich, fatty or spicy foods. Alcohol, tobacco and cannabis are obviously off limits as well.
Pets have an exceptional sense of smell. Food and juices left on plastic or aluminum foil left on countertops are very tempting. If ingested, plastic or foil wrap can cause choking or intestinal obstruction. Meat-soaked strings from roasts can cause a surgical emergency if ingested.
Make sure your pets have a place away from the hubbub where they can retreat, and be ready to enforce downtime for your pets if they start to seem stressed. The more unpredictable or unfamiliar your guests are, the more likely they are to agitate your pets. If your pets aren’t used to kids, their holiday antics could be overwhelming. Humans using walkers, canes, wheelchairs or other medical equipment may also frighten pets initially. Taking your dog for a walk or cuddling your cat in a quiet room can also help to reduce YOUR stress level and give you a break, too.
Many commonly used decorations can pose a risk for pets. Potpourri, candles and wax melts can be fire hazards and make your pet sick if they ingest them. Snow globes can break or be chewed and may contain a chemical also used in antifreeze. Ingesting as little as one teaspoon can be fatal. Tinsel, ribbons, wires and other dangly things can cause chocking or obstruction. Never let your pet drink the water from a tree stand; it can contain toxic chemicals that were used on the tree. Other holidays plants such as poinsettia, mistletoe, holly berries and some lilies can make your pets sick.
For more holiday pet safety tips, visit www.washingtoncountypets.com. The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter is located at 1901 SE 24th Ave in Hillsboro.