5 Holiday Pet Safety Tips

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America’s favorite winter holidays are just weeks away! We know you’re busy shopping, decorating, and party planning, so we wanted to remind you of a few things to keep your pet safe this holiday season. Consider the following five pet holiday safety tips from Kootenai Animal Hospital in Post Falls. We hope you both have a holly jolly season and a wonderful new year with your pet!

Tinsel and Garland Safety

As you decorate your tree, keep in mind that there are certain decorations like tinsel and garland that can be dangerous to your pet if ingested. This is especially important to remember if you have a cat, since cats are known to be drawn to shiny, stringy items. If ingested, these decorations can pose an obstruction hazard, which may require surgery to correct. So either avoid buying these decorations altogether or keep them in an area where your pet can’t access them.

Keep Pets Away from Christmas Tree Water

Many pet owners opt for real Christmas trees, unaware of the potential dangers that they can create for their pets. To a thirsty pet, a bucket of Christmas tree water is just another harmless bowl of water to slurp up. But if that water contains toxic agents like preservatives and pesticides (often used to keep the tree fresh), drinking it can be very dangerous to a pet. If you have a real Christmas tree in your home, use a tree skirt to cover the water to eliminate any temptation for your pet to drink it. Also make sure to leave plenty of water in your pet’s bowl to keep them hydrated.

Dangers of Holiday Plants

Mistletoe, holly, and lilies are just a few of the seasonal plants that are toxic to pets. If ingested, these plants can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and even kidney failure if treatment isn’t sought. So either keep these plants out of your pet’s reach or choose artificial plants instead. If ever you suspect that your pet has eaten a toxic plant or any other toxic substance, call Kootenai Animal Hospital at (208) 77-6000 or your local emergency veterinary hospital for an after-hours emergency.

Keep Electrical Cords Out of Your Pet’s Reach

If you have a curious pet, don’t string the bottom of your Christmas tree with lights, since many pets are known to paw at twinkling lights or chew on them. Chewing on electrical cords and lights can cause electric shocks and even mouth burns. Keep those Christmas lights out of your curious pet’s reach, or opt for a fiber optic tree instead.

Dangers of Fatty Foods and Table Scraps for Pets

We know you might be tempted to share your holiday meals with your pet, but before you do, keep in mind that there are certain foods that can be dangerous for them. Fatty foods like bacon, sausage, and poultry skin are on the list. These and other fatty foods can cause pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas. They can also contribute to weight gain and obesity. So as a rule of thumb, avoid feeding your pet any fatty table scraps from your holiday feasts.