Barking Up the Wrong Tree – Holiday Season Safety Tips for WNY Pet Owners
We hate to see any emergency walk through our door, but this season is always a busy one with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all happening in the final chunk of the year. Many holiday emergencies could be prevented if pet owners are proactive in preparing their homes for the upcoming holiday risks. We went over some of the risks that Thanksgiving presents, and as we look forward to winter we wanted to talk today about Christmas and the risks that come along with this time of the year for pets.
Let’s take some time to talk about some safety around Santa’s holiday…
Put Back the Poinsettias
This may be one of the more well-known risks, but if you didn’t know Poinsettia plants are very toxic for cats. These red flowers have gained a bad rep amongst pet owners, but not everyone is aware they cause significant risks for cats. The plants contain a sap inside the leaves that can irritate a cat’s mouth and esophagus.
Poinsettias can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or excessive drooling.
No Tinsel Town
Tinsel is one of the classic holiday decorations that always seems to get brought out, despite the fact they pose a risk for pets. Consider leaving the tinsel in the XMAS stuff box this year, especially if you have cats. Kittys LOVE anything that’s shiny and can be batted around, and especially if it can be carried in their mouths. Unfortunately, tinsel falls into all of these categories and is very attractive to a cat, and/or dog. A little chomp and your pet could be in for trouble.
Tinsel can lead to obstructed digestive tracts, vomiting, dehydration, and in some cases surgery.
Nix the Mistletoe & Holly
You don’t need to worry about your Aunt Sally laying a wet one on you under the mistletoe if you don’t put it out. You can also rest assured you’re preventing a pet emergency also. Holly causes nausea, diarrhea and vomiting in animals, and mistletoe can cause stomach issues and cardiovascular problems. In addition to Holly and Mistletoe being risky, many Lilies and many other “festive” holiday plants can cause kidney failure if ingested by a cat.
Keep your pet safe from any potential plant emergencies this holiday season.
Christmas Tree Safety
Cats can get pretty crazy, and the attraction of a Christmas tree can cause danger. If you know your cat attacks a particular style of ornament or decoration, just don’t use it. Dogs and cats are known to tip over Christmas trees, so ensure it’s securely anchored. For real trees, be careful with the water. Fertilizers can remain in the tree, which enters the water, which could cause issues with your pet.
In addition to the risky chemicals in the tree water, any stagnant water is a breeding ground for bacteria, so don’t let the pooch or kitty drink from the tree water to avoid any sickness.
All of the Lights, All of the Lights
We understand that 2 very big parts of the Holiday spirit are the bright lights of holiday decorations, and the dim hue of a potently perplexing relaxing holiday candle. Pets are curious creatures and can burn themselves or make a mistake by knocking a hot candle over. Don’t leave candles unattended with pets (or kids) in the house. This goes for wires as well. Cats and dogs have been known to gnaw on wires, so be careful and be sure to protect your pet from access to wires. A bit could lead to an electrical shock, and that’s not something anyone wants to see around the holidays.
Keeping your pet safe could be as simple as knowing when to leave a decoration in the basement.
These are only a few reminders for this holiday season. We hope that we never need to see you or your pet in our emergency room, but if something does occur, know that we are here for you, 24/7. Our phone line is always open, even on holidays, so just give us a call if you’re ever in need. We aim to be here for pet owners when their regular vet can’t be. Be sure to follow our facebook and Instagram for more tips and tricks on how to prevent pet emergencies!