The holidays are a time to decorate and share good times with friends and family. However the same treats and trimmings considered harmless for humans and could be a serious health risk for their pets. The ASPCA is offering pet owners some helpful tips to help keep their pets happy, healthy and stress free during the holiday season: Your pets are not garbage disposals for holiday leftovers. Poultry bones can splinter and cause blockages and greasy, spicy and fatty foods can cause stomach upset. Boiled or grilled meats and fresh vegetables can be offered as a healthy alternative. Place unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot reach them. Alcohol and pets do not mix.
Crowds and holiday festivities can frighten some animals. If your pet does not do well with crowds and loud noise, make sure you set aside a safe and quiet haven for them to retreat to if necessary.
If you are a cat owner, remember that cats are creatures of habit. Disruptions in the home during the holidays, such as rearranging the furniture, could cause your feline to stop using the liter box.
Be careful with holiday decorations. Common Yuletide plants such as mistletoe, ivy and holly berries can be poisonous, or even fatal. Make sure you place your Christmas and Hanukkah candles in places where your pets can't overturn them and possibly burn themselves and your home.
Some animals, especially kittens and puppies like to chew on exposed wiring, which could electrocute your pet. Tape down loose wires to baseboards and hide wiring as much as possible.
Dogs and cats can be allowed to romp through discarded wrapping paper and boxes, but remove bows and yarn. Cut away hopping bag handles on bags, which small dogs and cats can easily choke on.
Cats often see trees as fabulous climbing posts. Remember to position your Christmas tree to a wide, flat and stable base. You may want to anchor the tree with fishing line to a window or the wall and make sure that you decorate with animal-safe items such as dried flowers, pine cones or fabric and wood ornaments. Tinsel, ribbons and popcorn stands if swallowed can be deadly to pets. Glass balls can shatter in an animal's mouth and if swallowed, can cut the tissues of the intestinal system.
Christmas tree water may contain fertilizers, which if ingested, can cause stomach upset. Stagnated water can also be a breeding ground for bacteria, which can lad to vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea. Make sure a skirt or a cloth covers the bottom of the tree.
If your plans for the holiday season include a vacation, arrange for a trusted family member, friend or professional pet sitter to care for your pet at your home. Don't bring your pet on board the airlines unless you know you will be able to take the animal into the cabin. Pets that fly in airline cargo holds can be at risk to injury or death.
The American Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals