Pet dangers on holidays

Halloween, Christmas and Chanukah are cheerful seasons for humans, but some of the decorations, treats, candies,  and gifts we enjoy can be harmful, or even fatal, to pets. Here are some reminders to help your pets enjoy a safe and healthy season:

Christmas trees and pine needles: If you have a large dog or a tree-climbing cat, use a strong cord or rope to secure the top of the tree to a wall. Ingested pine needles can puncture your pet’s intestines. Clean around your holiday trees and wreaths often. Drinking the water from the Christmas tree base is enough to cause diarrhea, mouth sores, vomiting and loss of appetite. Cover your tree stand tightly with skirting and distract your pet from tree temptations with holiday toys and treats.

Candy: Like you, pets can suffer stomach aces and cavities from overindulgence in holiday candy. Chocolate contains theobromine, a caffeine like substance, that acts like a stimulant and can cause seizures or heart failure and can be fatal.

Plants: Juice from holiday plants, including poinsettia, is toxic enough to cause serous harm or even death to your pets. Vomiting, crying, frothing, depression, and muscle twitching are signs of plant poisoning.

Ornaments: Breakable tree ornaments, angel hair, tinsel icicles, and ribbons should be kept out of your pet’s reach. Ornaments, hooks, ribbon and rubber bands can be safety hazards. They can be ingested and swallowed, causing serious and possible fatal digestive problems.

Alcohol: Don’t share a “little” alcoholic drink with your pet this holiday season…or any time. It may seem like a fun thing but the effects can be harmful, even fatal. A 30-pound dog, for example, would be considered “under the influence” with just two tablespoons of whiskey. Two teaspoons would make a five-pound cat comatose and a tablespoon could kill the same animal. Alcohol is toxic to puppies and kittens and their “sipping” from you holiday spirit glass can lead to heart and liver complications.

NEVER give ham, steak, or poultry bones to your pet. Ingestion of these can lead to severe intestinal disease such as perforations or obstructions. Ingestion of excessive fatty food may cause severe vomiting and diarrhea.

Fourth of July dangers in the US

FIRECRACKERS are a danger to all pets-both physically and psychologically.  Do not take your pets to the fireworks-We have seen many emotionally frightened pets as a result of fireworks.  Below is an e-mail received July 7. 2000.

“We’d like to add a “Holiday Pet Danger” to your list.”

Last night was July 3rd and neighbors were setting off fireworks for several hours. This morning, we couldn’t find one of our cats and then about 11:00am, he finally turned up but he had an injury to his eye.

He apparently had been so frightened by the noise and commotion that he ran through the woods and must have ran into a twig which injured his eye. A small piece of the twig was actually still in the eye socket when we first found him.

Hopefully, he’ll be ok but next year, we’re making sure all our cats are indoors from July 3rd to July 5th.

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