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October 8, 2019

It’s Officially Decorating Season

It’s that time of the year where we start decorating for Halloween, Thanksgiving and then Christmas, all while our curious pets watch and make plans to take them down. Here are some tips to keep the cats out of the Christmas tree and prevent your dogs from ingesting those delicious faux grapes in your Thanksgiving cornucopia.

Decorations can mean Danger For Your Dogs

What’s better than sparkly tinsel, brightly colored ornaments, fresh fruit in Thanksgiving cornucopia, or freshly carved Halloween pumpkins? Holidays are here and though your decorations may brighten up your home, it can pose serious problems for your pet. We don’t suggest you celebrate these holidays without decorations, but we do suggest you be mindful of your curious pets. Some of the dangers that decorations can pose to pets:

  •         Pets can indulge in decorations eating small and sharp pieces     
  •         Decorations can be toxic or lethal
  •         Glass decorations can injure your pet
  •         Light decorations can burn your pet
  •         Cords can cause choking hazards

Prevent Dogs From Eating Decorations

Dogs are naturally curious and like babies, everything goes straight to their mouths. Newly hung decorations invoke a pet’s curiosity and they just have to check things out. This means as pet owners you have to make a special effort to keep your decorations and your pets apart for their safety. Though this may take some time, extra training and thought it is well worth it to know your pet is safe. Use these tips to prevent your dog from chomping on your holiday decorations.

  •       Place decorations up high where your pet cannot reach
  •       Use a mixture of water, orange and lemon extract in a spray bottle on decorations – cats and dogs don’t like citrus
  •       Crate your pet when you are away from home
  •       Place your pet in a separate room far from the decorations
  •       Use baby gates to keep your pet away from decorations
  •       Make sure your pet is trained to sit, heel and stay on command

The Health Dangers of Pets Ingesting Holiday Foods

The holidays bring about lots of treats and goodies. Numerous health dangers exist when pets meet holiday food. Food dangers are the worst and most unpredictable. Use extreme caution and be diligent about not allowing your pet to ingest decorations. A small amount of the wrong food can cause serious problems for your pet. A few foods you should avoid allowing your pet to eat:

  •         Fruit cakes, bread, and cookies – they contain grapes and raisins – these foods can cause kidney failure in dogs
  •         Chocolate and cocoa – highly toxic – small amounts cause vomiting and diarrhea – large amounts can cause seizures
  •         Leftover meat scraps – causes inflammation of the pancreas and abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting

Holiday Ornaments, Decorations Chemicals & Pet Danger

 Being a diligent pet owner means knowing the potential dangers that may lurk at home during the holiday season. If you’re still not convinced of the serious dangers of holiday decorations and your pet, consider these facts. Bubble lights can contain poisonous chemicals. If chewed the liquid inside can be dangerous to your pet’s health. The chemical Methylene chloride found in older lights can cause your dog to develop pneumonia, irritation to the eyes and gastrointestinal tract. Glass ornaments if bitten into can cause lacerations in your pet’s mouth or on their skin. Other dangers include:

  •         Elevated sodium levels from homemade dough ornaments – this can lead to severe neurological abnormalities
  •         Electrical burns from chewing on strands of decorative lighting

Other Holiday Decorating Dangers

All that glitters is not gold when it comes to tinsel. When ingested by pets a linear foreign body can occur. Tinsel and stringy items wrap around the base of your pet’s tongue resulting in rupturing or life-threatening damage to a pet’s intestines. Tinsel should always be kept out of the reach of your pet. Other dangerous holiday decorations include:

  •         Poinsettia plants or Mistletoe
  •         Holiday bouquets containing Lilly
  •         Holly berries and mistletoe – causing gastrointestinal irritation
  •         Liquid Potpourri/ Oils/Candles

 

Just as some pets protect us from outdoor intruders, we must protect them from the indoor and outdoor dangers of holiday decorations. Be proactive when it comes to preventing your pet from mishaps during this festive season. Consider the potentially lethal danger your pet could be placed in if you don’t take the extra steps needed to protect them. Have fun decorating while following these tips and you can prevent an expensive trip to the veterinarian.

 

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