Whether you’re rushing off to a massive family gathering or hosting a few friends at home, the holidays are a busy time. You might find yourself forgetting unimportant details like dusting the top of the fridge or picking up more eggs at the store, and that’s okay. But one thing you should always stay on top of, no matter the time of year, is your pet’s health. We’ve created a list of a few easily-overlooked holiday items that could prove harmful to your pet. Be sure to keep these in mind as your schedule picks up this winter!
While beautiful and a holiday staple, these red plants are mildly toxic to cats and dogs, and can cause vomiting, drooling, and diarrhea if ingested. The plant’s sap can also cause skin and eye irritation, so be sure to keep it away from all parts of your pet. If you absolutely have to display this plant, be sure to keep it out of reach of your pet, and never leave her in the room alone with it. That’s just asking for trouble!
Ice melt, or salt, is commonly used to to clear icy patches on sidewalks and other surfaces. On the one hand, ice melt protects you and your pets by melting any potentially slippery patches of ground. This can help your aging dog avoid a slip and subsequent injury. But on the other hand, ice melt itself is harmful to pets. The main ingredient in the substance, usually sodium chloride or calcium chloride,
Antifreeze, found in motor oils, hydraulic brake fluid, windshield deicing fluid, and other household supplies, can be harmful and even fatal for your pets if they drink it. The chemical in antifreeze that causes the damage is called ethylene glycol, and it can lead to kidney failure in dogs. Even just a small amount can prove deadly to a cat if he ingests it.
Some symptoms of antifreeze poisoning include vomiting, excessive urination, weakness, seizures, and faintness. If you notice any of these symptoms or believe that your pet has ingested antifreeze, it’s imperative that you get your dog or cat to a vet as soon as possible. To avoid this dangerous situation in the first place, ensure that substances containing antifreeze are stored away from your pet, and that your pet is never allowed to lick puddles off the ground, which could contain the substance dripping from a car.
It might be tempting to give in when you see your dog salivating over a turkey bone, but you have to keep her overall health in mind. Different parts of your Thanksgiving and Christmas meals need to be kept away from your pet, for his own safety. Bones, for example, can easily snap, splinter, and cause choking issues if a piece gets stuck in your dog’s throat. Raisins, grapes, and chocolate are other toxic food items that should be enjoyed by people, and not pets.
Humans metabolize alcohol differently than dogs and cats do. What might make you feel a little tipsy could be deadly to your pets. If you do find your dog or cat lapping up the remnants of a glass of wine, take stock of the situation and determine how much alcohol your pet consumed. Some signs of alcohol poisoning in your pet are similar to signs in people, from nausea to unsteadiness to increased thirst.
That tinsel might look fabulously festive adorning your staircase, but consider how it and various other decorations might harm your pet. Animals are naturally curious, and a shiny new object like an ornament or garland might prove too difficult for even the best-trained cat or dog to ignore. The last thing you want is to come home to shattered glass or a dog chowing down on a plastic string of lights.
This doesn’t mean that your home has to be kept bare during the holidays; instead, you can take a few precautions to decorate your house in a pet-friendly way. This could mean something as simple as hanging ornaments a little higher on the tree so they can’t be knocked off, or hanging the garland on the outside of the door rather than on the wall inside. You know your pet best, so be sure to take into account her behavior when it comes to pet-proofing your holiday decorations.
Support Your Pet’s Well-Being with Wapiti
When in doubt, you should always call your vet for health advice on your pet. But beyond emergency situations, it’s important to think about what you could be doing to promote your dog or cat’s everyday health. Wapiti Labs offers natural supplements specially designed to support your pet’s wellbeing.
It’s never too early or too late to start taking the best possible care of your pet. Take some time to think about your cat or dog’s strengths and weaknesses, and how he might benefit from one of our many natural supplements. Contact us today to learn more about the various ways Wapiti products can help.