Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Beware of Holiday Items that are Danger for Pets

Holidays are here -- means a time to celebrate!!! Almost nobody wants to miss the chance to celebrate during these holiday season. There is so much going on around this holiday time; things may even get a little hectic. However, don’t forget about your beloved pets or companion animals. Throughout the holiday season, people purchase many things such as holiday-related decorations, plants like mistletoe, poinsettias, and tree trimmings and food items. But, they may not realize that these holiday traditions may be dangerous for their pets. Additionally, holiday foods can also pose numerous health dangers to your pets. Everything from the beautiful poinsettias to the chocolate, macadamia nuts and tinsel on the tree hold potential danger and pose serious health risks if eaten by your pets.

Beware of Holidays Items that are Danger for Pets

During holidays, your pets are also prone to special dangers. Every year, thousands of pets are badly injured and/or suffer from lethal illness during the various holiday seasons. Holidays is a busy time ... a time for lots of shopping, planning, baking and cooking, rushing to parties and get-togethers with friends and relatives. Many times, people forget about their little four-legged companions during the rush and festivities. The pets are also curious and anxious like us and many hazards are waiting for their inquisitiveness. This article will give you information about common problems that animals face during the holiday season, including foreign body ingestion, toxins, exposure, and many more. Take the time to read it cautiously and brace yourself, so that you, your relatives and your downy friends can have secure, fun-filled holidays!

Holiday Ornaments

Don’t forget to consider your pets while decorating for the holiday season. Some of the decorative elements like snow globes or bubble lights may contain poisonous chemicals which may be chewed by your pet and lead to a health hazard. Be careful about ornaments especially ornaments made of glass. Dogs and cats alike it and may try to play with them, which can shatter and pose themselves to the risk of cuts to paw pads or even to the mouth and digestive system. Goat-like cats and dogs are keen to eat anything that fits in their mouths.
Hang your treasured or any glass ornaments in high places where pets can’t reach. You may even consider restricting your pet’s entry to areas that are decorated with such items. If you’ve put up a Christmas tree, use medal, wooden, resin-cast or the like on the lower branches. If you have a cat, forgo the tinsel as it can prove lethal if ingested. Tinsel can lead to severe damage to intestinal tract of a cat if swallowed.

The Holiday Feast

Holiday season comes with an enchanting variety of baked goods, fattening foods such as honey-glazed hams and slow-roasted turkeys, chocolate confections, pumpkin pies and decadent desserts of all kinds, and surely, potatoes, corn on the cob, stuffing, and many other delicacies. However, sharing these delicious foods with our pets can be quite dangerous in some cases. During the holidays, keep your pets on their regular diet and do not allow friends and family to sneak in treats.
Foods that create problems in pets:
  • Chocolate and cocoa is a good source of theobromine i.e. the highly toxic chemical for cats and dogs. Intake of such foods only in small amount can lead to diarrhea and vomiting; in large amount, they can cause seizures and heart arrhythmias.
  • Raisins, grapes and currants containing foods such as fruitcakes can lead to kidney failure in dogs.
  • Xylitol, a sweetener present in many sugarless gums and candies, is poisonous to dogs. It lowers blood sugar level at life-threatening level and can also cause liver failure.
  • Pancreatitis, a severe inflammation of the pancreas, can be produced by leftover fatty meat scraps. Abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea and vomiting are the symptoms of pancreatitis.

A number of holiday season plants are toxic to pets if eaten by them. Though plants add so much in interior spaces, they have a bad rap as some plants are dangerous for our companions. The most hazardous plants for cats include stargazer, lilies, Asiatic, Easter and day lilies. The intake of only 1 to 2 leaves or flower petals are sufficient to cause abrupt kidney failure in cats. Holiday bouquets generally including holly, lilies or mistletoe are also more worrisome.
Some poisonous plants cause mild gastrointestinal upset while other cause kidney failure and eventual death. Nausea, disorientation, breathing difficulties, vomiting, or any changes in behavior are the symptoms that mostly observed in pets who have eaten any poisonous plant material. The ingestion of oleander, sago palm, azalea, or yew plant material by an animal could be deadly. Other poisonous houseplants that are comparatively common include hedera (ivy), caladium, dieffenbachia, and philodendron. There are many other toxic plants which are not included in this listing.


Pets are quickly affected by alcohol as it gets rapidly absorbed in the bloodstream of them. Drinking of alcohol can lead to dangerous fall in blood pressure, blood sugar and even body temperature. Animals intoxicated with alcohol can experience respiratory failure and seizures. Furthermore, foods like desserts containing alcohol and unbaked dough that includes yeast should be kept at bay from pets as they may lead to vomiting, disorientation, alcohol toxicity and stomach bloat.

Liquid potpourri

For getting those smells of rose, lemon, orange, apple, mint, cloves, oak, chocolate, nutmeg or pine in your house, you may buy liquid potpourri. If you are fractional to heating your scented oils in a boil pot, recognize that they can lead to serious injury to your cat; ingestion of it in only a few amount can result in severe chemical burns in their mouth, along with difficulty in breathing, retching, vomiting, fever, tremors, weakness and infrequently, more severe organ damage. Dogs are not as sensitive; however it is still better to be safe. So, scent your dwelling with a non-toxic candle.

Imported Snow Globes

Antifreeze, ethylene glycol was found to be contained in imported snow globes. By antifreeze ingestion, above 10,000 cats and dogs are accidentally poisoned every year. When only one teaspoon of antifreeze is eaten by a cat, it can be fatal. And one or two tablespoon of antifreeze (depending on their size) can be lethal for a dog. Symptoms of early poisoning include excessive thirst, acting drunk or uncoordinated, and lethargy. Internal damage is really worsening while symptoms appear to improve after 8 to 12 hours. In the kidneys, crystals may get developed which result in acute kidney failure within 12-72 hours. At that time, it is vital to provide immediate treatment.

Needle and Thread

It is a very attractive combination for cats. If both are swallowed by cats, they are very dangerous for them. Needles that get ingested will frequently lodge in their stomach, or may make it more down into the Gastro-Intestinal tract into the small intestine. They rapidly become life threatening linear foreign bodies that need surgical extraction. So, if you are doing sewing, crafts, knitting, and any other activities that produce alluring foreign bodies for your cat, always clean up carefully after doing!

Other Holiday Items
  • Dental Floss
  • Yarn, String and Fishing Line
  • Electrical cords (uncovered or untapped)
  • Butcher's Twine
  • Rubber Bands and Hair Elastics
  • Beads and buttons
  • Rock salt
  • Meat drippings and Poultry bones
During holidays, the best thing you have to do as a pet owner is get educated on most common household toxins and consequently, pet-proof your home!!!

Holiday Dangers for Pets: 5 Things All Pet Owners Should Know video from Youtube:


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