Holiday Safety Tips for Cats and Dogs

If your pet is like most, she loves getting in on the action during the holiday season. By all means, include your furry friend—just make sure they stay safe. Below, your Lafayette, LA veterinarian gives you a few holiday pointers.

Tree Tips

Make sure your holiday tree is anchored securely with a sturdy base; this will prevent pets from pulling over the tree and injuring themselves. Don’t let animals get near the tree base, though, as it may contain stagnant water that holds harmful bacteria.

Tinsel and certain tree ornaments pose a risk during the holidays, because they appear as fun toys to many pets. If necessary, put tinsel and ornaments on the highest parts of the tree where pets can’t reach.

Toxic Food Troubles

Your holiday dinner table contains plenty of foods that pets shouldn’t have. The list includes onions, grapes, raisins, salt, garlic, caffeinated beverages and foods, candy, chocolate, gum, and more. Also beware of fatty table scraps, as too much fat at once can cause serious problems. Alcohol is another danger; it affects pets the same way it affects us, except very small amounts can do major damage. Don’t let your pet anywhere near liquor, wine, beer, or champagne.

Beware When Wrapping

Wrapping paper, tape, twine, string, ribbons, tissue paper—all of these common holiday items pose a risk to pets who may see them as fun playthings. Don’t let your pet ingest any such materials, as they may cause choking, intestinal obstruction, or other problems. Also make sure not to leave sharp scissors lying around on the floor, for your pets and human family members’ sakes.

Caution with Candles

Do you burn candles to set a special holiday atmosphere? Make sure they’re placed where pets can’t reach them, as animals can sometimes accidentally swipe a tail through a flame. This could cause burns or startle your pet, causing them to knock the candle over and potentially starting a fire.

Poisonous Plant Life

Did you know that poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly can all cause adverse health effects in our animal companions? Poinsettias aren’t exactly poisonous, but they can secrete a sap-like substance that irritates pets’ mouths and stomachs. Mistletoe and holly can cause poisonous reactions when swallowed. Put these plants where pets can’t gain access.

Call your vet for more holiday safety tips. From all of us here at your Lafayette, LA pet clinic, Happy Holidays!

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