Things that are dangerous to our pets at Christmas
By: Valerie Brecknock
The Christmas season is here again, comes around fast every year, one day it’s July the next we are all frantically shopping getting ready for the holidays. Like me, I would imagine being a few days before the big day, we all have our homes decorated with tinsel, garland, trees and ornaments, our favorite christmas plant the Poinsetta in full bloom placed in the center of our livingroom tables with a open box of chocolates ready for the back and forth decision on which one to take first.
Loose hooks for the ornaments lying on the floor under the tree. Oops, broke one of my glass ornaments while trying to hang it on one of the top branches for safety, hoping I have all the pieces of this broken treasure picked up before my cat settles in under the tree. These are just a few examples of things that are dangerous to our dogs and cats during the holidays.
Tinsel is always a crowd pleaser for cats. They love chewing it, playing with it and then swallowing it. The tinsel even though entertaining to kitty can get lodged in their throats or worse it can block intestines. Bad fur ball. Expensive christmas present from the vet.
Chocolates can be deadly to dogs. Please keep your Pot of Gold out of reach from your dogs, EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. Dogs that it eat chocolate and if they are anything like the most of us they won’t eat just one, can have seizures, vomiting, and could potentially die from it. So please keep these beautiful treats away from Fido.
Poinsettas, this plant is very toxic to animals. I stress again, if your animals are prone to eating plants I suggest you put it up where they can’t get at it. The toxicity to animals in this plant can make them very ill, another present you don’t want from your vet.
Ornaments that fall off the tree and break, these little slivers of glass can get imbedded pretty good in the little feet of not only our kids, but our furry friends too. So be sure to pick up the big pieces and vacuum the little unseen ones. A small piece can do a lot of damage. If it gets in between the pad of the animals foot it may take a few days to notice your animal is limping and you can’t see what’s in there. VET.
One of my old cats loves for some reason drinking the water that’s in the stand for my christmas tree. I never add anything to the water not even sugar because I know this is what he does and I certainly can’t stop him, but I can prevent him from getting sick.
Do not leave your animals outside in this, the beginning of colder days to come. We we are all gathered around the dinner table enjoying the turkey feast, can you see your beloved pet outside or someone else’s?
Bring them in. All they want for christmas is love and warmth and kindness. I also urge anyone thinking of getting a puppy or kitten to put under the tree, PLEASE think of the long term. This animal is not just for christmas, it’s for the duration of this animal’s life. 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, you have to look at the big picture. Pet shops are selling these cute little animal’s for the surprise a child will get when he or she wakes up christmas morning. Please give these animals the best ever present, don’t buy from pet shops, and think of the future and where you will be with this animal. Will you have to give him up because you have to move? Can you afford vet bills, food, and the amount of time walking and playing with the animal?
I wish all of you a very merry christmas, and a safe and healthy new year.
Valerie Brecknock is a certified dog behaviorist and can be reached at 514-505-1332