Top 5 Holiday Hazards to Your Pet

Photo courtesy of C&M Photography

Photo courtesy of C&M Photography

At this time of the year I always like to remind everyone about potential holiday hazards to your animal.

1. Christmas Tree – this includes the ornaments, tinsel, and the water in the Christmas tree stand. Keep your glass ornaments out of reach of your dog or kitty. Animals are attracted to the vivid colors and the light playing on these ornaments. I have seen more than one animal break those glass ornaments only to ingest some of the ornament or cut their feet on the broken glass.

No tinsel on your Christmas tree either! Cats, in particular, are attracted to the shiny stuff. Having a little snack on the tinsel is guaranteed to have you rushing your
4-legged friend to the vet for emergency surgery.

Did you know the water in that Christmas tree stand is toxic to animals? Keep that water stand covered with a towel. You don’t want your animals thinking you have put out an extra water bowl especially for them!

2. Chocolate – Chocolate is toxic to dogs. If you plan on giving some lucky person some yummy chocolate for the holidays, do not leave that well-wrapped package under the tree or in any other place where your dog can reach it. There are many dogs that can “sniff out” that box of chocolate, even when it is still wrapped in all its finery.

3.  Food –When you are sitting around the dining room table enjoying your meal, make sure you have put the kitchen garbage well out of reach of your animals. More than one animal has necessitated a trip to the emergency room because of partaking in things they should not be.

4.  Bows and ribbons – Your animals are just as attracted to those beautifully wrapped packages. You don’t need kitty having a meal of those beautiful ribbons and bows. Keep these packages in a closet until gift-giving time.

5.  Mushrooms! – OK, this isn’t necessarily a holiday hazard, per se, but these darn things have been sprouting up everywhere! These wild mushrooms are deadly to your dog. Don’t let them eat them! If you even suspect your dog has eaten a mushroom, you must get them to the vet immediately.

5 Thanksgiving Tips for Your Family Pet

Thanksgiving BannerIt’s hard to believe the holidays are here again! We all get caught up in this very busy time, regardless if you are the one cooking the family meal, traveling to see family, or having family visit you. It is a fun, but hectic time, and it’s easy to “forget” about your fur kids. Here are 5 tips to keep them safe this Thanksgiving.

1)       Do not feed any cooked bones to Fido or Fluffy, no matter how much they may beg you! Those bones can splinter and lodge in their throats and stomachs, resulting in an emergency trip to the vet!

2)       Make sure you keep any chocolate out of reach of Fido! Some dogs can smell that chocolate even when the box has not yet been opened. Put it in the cupboard, where it cannot be reached.

3)       Secure your garbage can lid! I’m talking about the one in the kitchen. Once you have sat down to enjoy your turkey dinner, more than one dog or cat has decided to make a meal of the garbage can contents in the other room.

4)       Do not leave any food out unattended. This includes hors d’oeuvres as well as any “leftovers” in the kitchen. I have seen dogs clear an entire table of nicely arranged hors d’oeuvres when no one was paying attention.

5)       Are you having wee folk visiting you? You don’t want your dog or cat biting or scratching anyone. Do not allow children to play with your dog or cat unsupervised! Do not allow children to hug your dog or cat! Give your dog and cat a “safe room” where they can hang out and not be stressed by your young visitors.

Make sure before the festivities begin, you also communicate these guidelines to those who also live in your household. Getting everyone “on board” before the festivities will mean you have more than just yourself to ensure your dog and cat are going to be safe.

I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving. Take some time out of your day to remember those things you are thankful for.

This article was originally published in “The Pilot”, the Redwood Shores Community Association’s newsletter.