Its that time of year again, the holidays are upon us. In our efforts to enjoy the season, we can create situations that can put our pets at risk. I'll outline some lesser known risks that may not be as apparent as the dark chocolate and mistletoe poison concerns.
One of the latest threats to our pets health is a commonly used artificial sweetener, Xylitol. Very toxic to dogs, it is finding its way into more and more products, the latest one being Peanut Butter. Before using any peanut butter for treats, or in dog cookies, ensure that it does not contain this sweetener. Xylitol.
We generally are worried about poisonous threats to our pets, and well we should be watchful of what they eat or can get in to. Pets with allergies will often be offered "a little bit of the holiday bounty" at get togethers, so be sure to advise guests of any pet allergies. Unfortunately many people think that "just a little bite of piecrust" can't hurt a pet, but if there is a wheat allergy, it can cause the pet, at the very least, weeks of itching, and at the very worst, a trip to the vet.
Tinfoil used in cooking can also be a delicious danger for your pets, make sure it is disposed of securely, as well as any cooked turkey bones, or other kitchen garbage. But, in moderation, uncooked turkey parts (wings, necks, giblets) can be great treats for your pet. But be careful, if you are lucky you might end up becoming a raw feeder.
Other threats that pets face include choking hazards. So many of our decorations look tasty, or at least fun to chew or play with. Making sure these decorations are secured in a way that the animals can't take them down, and that any they may have access to are not choking hazards, and non toxic, just in case. Giving pets their own holiday toys to keep them occupied can also help, so long as those toys do not closely resemble your ornaments, so there is no confusion.
Candles can be a popular seasonal decoration. The new LED versions are safe, but conventional candles can attract pets in dark rooms. Make sure they are secure and in a place the pets can't get to or tip over.
Tying a ribbon around a pet's neck may look cute, but it can be very dangerous. Cats can get caught up on things as they travel through the all the nooks and crannies they love to explore in your house. There is a reason that cat collars are made with break away clips, to stop them from becoming a choking hazard if the cat gets into trouble.
Crowds of people gathering in your home may upset your pets. If you are worried that it may cause a problem, you can keep the pet in a separate room. Make sure that its favourite toys and bed are in the room, but unless this is for an extended period of over 8 hours, no food or water needs to be available during the sequester.
Holiday safety is easy, if you put just a little thought into it. Have a safe and merry holiday!