Limit "People Food" Treats
|PROTECT YOUR PET FROM HOLIDAY PERILS
Dogs and cats are inquisitive creatures. The inviting aromas,
shiny decorations and new faces surrounding holiday celebrations can pique
their interest. The Division of Humane Services reminds you to be aware of the
dangers these items may cause your pets.
Many favorite holiday foods and flavorings are harmful or even toxic to animals, causing anything from upset stomachs, to vomiting, organ damage or death. Know the consequences of feeding your dog or cat the following:
- Alcohol causes a host of problems for pets, including decreased coordination, vomiting and difficulty breathing.
- Chocolate, especially dark chocolate and baker’s chocolate, can be toxic for dogs.
- Fatty meats and indigestible bones can cause choking hazards.
- Garlic and onions can damage a cat’s red blood cells.
- Grapes and raisins can damage a dog’s kidneys.
- Nuts, especially Macadamia nuts, can upset a pet’s stomach and cause vomiting and/or diarrhea.
- Nutmeg can cause seizures and central nervous system problems when eaten directly or as a flavoring on “safe” foods like sweet potatoes, apples and carrots.
- Xylitol Sweetener used in sugar-free gum and baked goods can lower blood sugar levels and cause liver failure.
Colorful holiday decorations can cause injury to your pet as well. Edible decorations like cookies, cranberries, popcorn and candy can lead to upset stomachs, choking hazards and serious bodily harms. And, inedible and toxic plants like holly or mistletoe can be deadly. When arranging holiday décor, keep in mind the possibility of a toppled tree, broken ornaments and decorations. Holiday ribbons, wreaths and garland can cause choking and intestinal blockage, and electrical cords can cause shocks and burns.
For many, the center of holiday decorating is a Christmas tree. If you choose a natural tree:
- Sweep up fallen needles immediately; they can puncture the digestive tract or injure paws.
- Change tree water often. Stagnant water holds bacteria that cause nausea or diarrhea.
- Prevent your pet from drinking tree water that contains poisonous fertilizer or preservatives.
Control the Commotion
The hustle-and-bustle of the holiday season may be too much for your pet. Provide a quiet space for him or her to get away from the action. A new chew toy for a dog or scratching post for a cat also can provide an effective distraction. If holiday stress becomes overwhelming for both of you, consider a long walk to burn off the calories and some extra cuddles.
Keep Your Pet Warm This Winter
While cats and dogs are covered with a fur coat, they are not immune to winter’s chill. Bring pets inside or provide warm shelter that is off the ground and protected from the wind when the weather turns frightful. Small dogs and those with short fur also can benefit from a sweater or coat during times outdoors. After walking your dog, clean paws of salt, snow and ice crystals to prevent injury or accidental poisoning.
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