Keep pets safe from holiday hazards with these tips from FDA. There are many smells, sights and sounds that can be unfamiliar to curious dogs and cats this time of year, and some can be dangerous to your pet’s health.
Salt dough ornaments and homemade play dough can be fatal to pets if ingested. High salt intake is a cause for concern. Make sure you warn your children to keep these items away from your dog or cats as well. One cup of salt is 48 teaspoons. A pet weighing 10 pounds can become sick after eating just 1/2 teaspoon of table salt. A dose of 1-1/2 teaspoons can be fatal.
Tinsel and ribbons are also a problem. Bright and fluffy things look like prey, and can cause serious damage to the stomach and intestines of dogs and cats. Keep the tinsel away from the tree and collect all the ribbon and string after wrapping and opening the presents.
Some table scraps are also dangerous. Trimming the meat or skin from a roasted turkey or chicken can cause an upset stomach. These items can also cause a potentially life-threatening disease called pancreatitis. The most common symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs include vomiting, restlessness, tremors, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever and weakness. In cats, the symptoms of pancreatitis are more vague, but can include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, weight loss and diarrhea.
Turkey or steak bones can get stuck in a dog or cat’s esophagus, stomach, or trachea. Sharp pieces of bone can injure a pet’s mouth, stomach and esophagus and cause severe internal injuries. Wrap table scraps securely and dispose of them in a trash can that your pets can’t access.
Chocolate is dangerous for both dogs and cats. Complications from chocolate consumption can include liver damage, bleeding disorders, and death. Unsweetened or baking chocolate is the most dangerous.
Peppermints can cause life-threatening problems for dogs if they contain xylitol, which is a sugar substitute. It is found in candy, chewing gum, some types of peanut butter, and baked goods. Symptoms of xylitol poisoning include vomiting, decreased activity, weakness, staggering, and seizures.
And snack bags can be dangerous, too. If your dog or cat breathes into the bag, the bag can wrap around the nose and mouth, causing suffocation. Make sure snack bags are closed and stored in a safe cabinet.
Finally, holiday plants can be fatal if ingested. Poinsettias can cause pet mouth and stomach irritation. Mistletoe can cause serious illness, but only if your pet ingests large amounts. Holly berries and leaves can make your pet sick. Keep them away from pets.
So follow these tips to keep pets safe this holiday season.