Best Pet Safety Tip: Print out this list, post it on the fridge and keep your four-legged family pets safe! Small amounts of nutmeg, a handful of raisins, mushrooms, onions, rhubarb.....this list of toxins may surprise you. Share this with your family and friends who have furry family members, too. Most of us have no idea what dangers lurk during holiday time.
For those of us who have four-legged family members bounding around the house this holiday season, there are hidden-in-plain-sight dangers we must look out for. I'm posting this and putting a copy of it on my fridge so all family members know how to keep our pets safe. I am a life-long pet person and I had no idea that some of these things could potentially kill our animals. I thought I'd share this information for us all this season.
Here two examples:
Christmas Trees: "Monitor your pets when they are around your holiday tree. Pets may eat the needles (even from artificial trees) or drink water from the base of the tree, which can be toxic (especially if there are preservatives in it). Keep electrical cords and decorative lights out of reach, too."
Deadly Holiday Plants: "Hazardous plants include mistletoe, some evergreens (including some types of pine), and holly bushes and berries. Try to keep these plants away from pets, or at least supervise pets when dangerous plants are nearby."
Read all the risks and tips:
Keep Pets Safe Part I: 6 Holiday Hazards Toxic to Dogs and Cats
Foods toxic to dogs and cats
By definition, holidays mean we're all sitting around a table with food, or on a couch with food, or making more food or cleaning up food while cooking more food.
You may be tempted to share the holiday bounty by sliding your plate beneath the table for your beloved dog to slurp. (Believe me, no judgment here.) But I keep getting urgent e-mails from my veterinarian's office and pet insurance about all the holiday hazards facing our family pets when there's so much holiday food around. So here's a quick list to put on your fridge to remind you – and all family members – about what's poisonous to our beloved dogs and cats. You'll be surprised by how many foods are dangerous and by how little it takes to harm our animals. For example, as few as FOUR grapes or raisins can cause significant damage to a 20-pound pet.
Read Pets and Holidays: Part II to learn what surprising holiday foods can seriously harm our pets. 18 Holiday Foods Toxic to Pets
Tips on toxic foods:
"In many cases, if your pet has eaten or drunk something toxic, warning signs will include gastrointestinal problems, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Other signs may include tiredness and lack of appetite, especially in cats that have eaten lilies. If your pet shows any of these signs, or if you think he or she has eaten something dangerous but is not showing any signs yet, please call your vet right away. Treating your pet as soon as possible is essential!"
(No) Bones about It: "Despite tradition, bones should never be given to pets. Even beef, ham, and other "regular" foods that are not considered toxic can cause illness in pets. If your pet is a moocher, keep a saucer of his regular treats on the table to offer when he asks. He probably won't know the difference!"
Nuts: "Abundant in many cookies and candies, certain nuts should not be given to pets. Almonds, non-moldy walnuts and pistachios can cause an upset stomach or an obstruction of your dog's throat and/or intestinal tract; macadamia nuts and moldy walnuts can cause toxic poisonings. Moldy walnuts can contain toxic chemical products produced by fungi which cause seizures or neurological signs. Lethargy, vomiting and loss of muscle control are among the effects of nut ingestion. Learn more about nuts dangers to dogs."
Onions and Garlic: "Onions contain an ingredient called thiosulphate which is toxic to cats and dogs. The ingestion of onions, onion powder, or even cooked onion causes a condition called hemolytic anemia, which is characterized by damage to the red blood cells. In other words, onion toxicity can cause the red blood cells circulating through your pet's body to burst. A small amount can be toxic to your dog or cat."
More great resources: