Where has the year gone? The Holidays are here again and sharing them with our pets is part of the fun. However, there are potential dangers for your beloved companions.
If you are decorating the house remember that many plants are poisonous to dogs and cats including ivy, lilies, poinsettia, holly and mistletoe. While poinsettia may not kill your cat or dog it will at the least make your pet very sick. It's better to err on the side of caution.
If you're putting up a Christmas Tree don't put it close to the wall or near furniture because it's too easy for your cat to climb up and topple it and get hurt. Pets can also easily break ornaments. The shards of glass will be dangerous to pets and anyone walking barefoot. Use unbreakable ornaments. Or, if your pet won't be able to access the top of the tree or tip the tree over, put breakable ornaments nearer the top of the tree. Don't use tinsel! If your pet swallows tinsel it can cause internal damage requiring surgery. It can also cause internal bleeding.
Remember that chocolate is dangerous to pets. The smaller your pet the more likely it is that she or he will get very sick. Keep food out of reach.
If you're hosting a party either confine your pets to one room with food, water, litterbox for felines, and some toys. People coming and going can accidentally allow your pets to escape your home. They can also step on your pets, give them food and/or beverages they shouldn't have and if there are small children in attendance they can easily injure your pet by picking him up or pulling tails, ears, poking, etc. Children can also drop small dogs or children's shiny jewelry that your pet could swallow. The noise of a party, with or without children, can also be confusing and upsetting to some pets. It is often better to board your pet(s) overnight to be assured of safety.
For those who celebrate Chanukah, unless you can supervise until the candles burn down, it's better to replace your Menorah with an electric one. It might not be as traditional but it will certainly be safer for your pets!
Don't forget to have fun with your pets, give them some extra attention if you find yourself busier than usual, which is common this time of year. And I'm sure your pets will appreciate a new toy or two, and a treat! When choosing toys for your pets remember that there is no regulatory agency for pet toys, the industry is expected to regulate itself. Choose toys for your pets as you would choose toys for children. Be sure there are no parts to come off and be swallowed, no squeakers that can be removed, be sure toys are sturdy and always supervise your pets when you first give them a new toy. Also, beware of treat and toys made in China. Toys are often poorly constructed and treats from China have often been recalled. Better safe than sorry! Do not get cat teasers with mylar. While it looks shiny to you it can be dangerous to your cats because it can cause the equivalent of paper cuts around the cat's mouth. Ouch! Safety first!
Happy Holidays to you and those you love.
Note: We'll be participating in this year's Chanukah Crawl! Click on the link below the Badge to see the complete Chanukah Crawl schedule and find links to each post.