Keep pets safe during holidays
Now that the holidays are in full swing, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) would like to remind pet owners to keep pets safe from some of the hazards of the holidays.
Of course you want to include your furry companions in the festivities, but as you celebrate this holiday season, try to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. Also, be sure to steer them clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations.
First, securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water from spilling, which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea.
Next, you might just have to shelve the tinsel. Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching “toy” that’s easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It’s best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.
Pets should not be allowed to eat chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, which can be poisonous. Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.
Be sure when purchasing stocking stuffers for your pets that these items are safe. Dogs have been known to tear their toys apart and swallow the pieces, which can then become lodged in the esophagus, stomach or intestines. Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible. There are some toys that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible.
For cats, long, stringy things are a feline’s dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that’s too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer – and tons of play sessions together.
Forget the mistletoe and holly. Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies, can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested.
Leave the leftovers for humans only. Fatty, spicy and human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won’t lead to costly medical bills.
Also, you should always keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws’ reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet’s mouth.
Finally, if your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.
For more helpful safety tips on how to keep your furry friends safe during the holidays, visit http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-care-tips/holiday-safety-tips.
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