In the frenzy of holiday gatherings, celebratory meals, and festive decorations that happen around this time of year, it’s important to keep pet safety at the forefront of your mind. To keep your furry friends healthy and safe this season, remember that some popular foods and decorations can pose threats to pets.
Foods That Are Dangerous
It’s tempting to let pets have a few scraps of the holiday meal, but some common foods have toxins that would make them sick. Be cautious before offering a taste and be sure to keep an eye on pets so they don’t eat anything hazardous when nobody’s looking. Here are some of the popular holiday foods to avoid, according to the Humane Society of the United States.
Bones: Don’t leave that turkey lying around where a pet might snatch it. Thin bones like the ones in turkey and chicken can snap and pose serious threats to pets if ingested.
Candy and chocolate: Chocolate is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets. Another sweet to avoid is xylitol, an artificial sweetener often found in candy, baked goods, and gum.
Garlic and Onion: Even if a food seems otherwise safe, there could be other less obvious ingredients that are dangerous. Garlic and onions, common additions to dishes like stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy, can make pets sick.
Other foods to avoid:
- Grapes and raisins
- Fruits with pits or seeds like cherries, peaches, and apples
Decorations That Are Dangerous
Now might be the time you’re bringing the box of decorations out from storage. Be cautious with what you put up around the house, as you never know what pets might get into.
Plants: Many popular winter florals and plants are toxic to cats, including poinsettia, mistletoe, and holly. Opt for pet-friendly florals like a Christmas Cactus, orchids, and African violets.
Candles and essential oils: It can be dangerous to leave a pet alone with a candle, as it may knock it over and pose a fire hazard. Some scented candles may also contain essential oils that are toxic to pets. Some common oils to avoid are cinnamon, citrus, peppermint, pine, and tee tree, according to VCA Animal Hospitals.
Christmas trees: If you put up a Christmas tree, be cautious about how you decorate it, the American Animal Hospital Association warns. Keep breakable glass or ceramic ornaments out of reach of pets that might swat them. Electric cords from lights can pose hazards if chewed, so keep cords tucked out of reach. And be sure to cover the tree stand to keep pets from drinking the water, as it can contain harmful bacteria, algae, or fertilizers.
Feature image, stock.adobe.com
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