Holidays are a perfect time for celebrating some life’s happiest moments and making memories with our special ones. Pets love the holiday season too, especially when their owners share pet treats with them. Although the foods and decorations in the homes can be interesting for the pets, they can also land these furry babies in emergency pet hospitals.

It is crucial to pet-proof your house and reduce household risks for your pets such as toxic chemicals and decorations, fire hazards and holiday garbage.

Human Eats and Drinks Are Not Meant for Pets

Some holiday foods such chocolate and cocoa, candy, gum and fruitcake can be quite dangerous to pets. The fruitcake threat can be more dangerous if the cake is soaked in rum or some other alcohol. Alcohol poisoning in dogs and cats can cause a drop in the blood sugar, body temperature, and blood pressure increasing the likelihood of seizures and respiratory failure. During this holiday season, do not feel hesitant to ask guests to refrain from sharing human food and drinks with your pets.

Myths Related to Seasonal Holiday Plants

Over the years, the toxicity related to poinsettias has been exaggerated, when the truth is – if ingested by a dog or a cat, the sticky white sap causes only minor mouth or stomach irritation. Similarly, Christmas cactus can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, and the pointy leaves of the Christmas or English holly can cause damage to a pet’s stomach and intestines. While severe health problems aren’t likely with holiday plants, it is still advised to keep them out of pets’ reach.

Keep Tinsel and Liquid Potpourri Away From Cats

Tinsel should be banned from entering homes with cats. Cats see it as a shiny, fun toy but when ingested, tinsel can wrap around the tongue or can enter the stomach making passage through the intestines. Situations are made worse when the tinsel slowly cuts through the tissue of the intestine and causes serious damage to the intestinal tract. For all these reasons, it’s also recommended stowing away ribbon, yarn and thread.

Liquid potpourris are toxic too. They contain essential oils that, if consumed by a cat, can cause serious chemical burns in the mouth, difficulty breathing, fever and tremors. Comparatively, dogs are less sensitive to these chemicals, but its recommended to keep potpourri out of their reach as well.

Keep Handbags Away

Be sure to ask your guests to store their handbags out of your pets’ reach. Handbags typically contain many items that can be poisonous to dogs and cats. The most dangerous ones are prescription medications, chewing gums, asthma inhalers, coins, cigarettes and hand sanitizers.

With the right knowledge, pet owners can keep their beloved one out of harm’s way this holiday season. However, if your pet may ingest a foreign object, seek immediate help from Napa Valley Animal Hospital.

Keep an eye on your pets and have a safe holiday!