Holiday Pet Safety in Charleston: A Cat Wearing a Bow Tie with a Jingle Bell on It

Prevent a Pet Emergency this Holiday Season

A pet emergency is probably the last thing you’d expect in the midst of your holiday festivities. When you’re focused on having a good time with your family and friends, some potential safety hazards might go unnoticed. To avoid any mishaps and keep your pet safe, be sure to plan ahead and review the helpful holiday pet safety tips our animal hospital has provided below.

Harmful Foods

People food is best reserved for your 2-legged guests. Hearty, home-cooked dishes can give pets an upset stomach or cause other problems. The following foods are especially risky, and should be kept away from your pet at all times:

  • Onions, shallots, garlic, chives, and leeks – ingesting these veggies in any form can cause damage to your pet’s red blood cells and result in anemia.
  • Turkey, chicken, ham, and other meat bones – choking, obstruction, or internal injury can result from swallowing a bone.
  • Grapes, raisins, and currants – kidney failure can occur in pets that snack on these fruits.
  • Chocolate, cocoa powder, and baker’s chocolate – all of these contain theobromine, which is similar to caffeine and can cause heart arrhythmia, tremors, and central nervous system disorders.
  • Macadamia nuts, walnuts, cashews, and pecans – consuming these nuts in large enough quantities can cause weakness, vomiting, and depression.
  • Avocados – surprisingly, eating this fruit could give your pet an upset stomach. Also, avocado pits can be a choking hazard, so don’t leave any sitting around!
  • Uncooked bread dough made with yeast – this mixture can expand in your pet’s stomach, causing it to dilate and put pressure on other internal organs.
  • Xylitol – you may be familiar with this sugar substitute, which is commonly used in sugar-free candy, gum, cookies, and other treats. If your pet ingests food containing xylitol, they may develop hypoglycemia.

Your pet should have their own food and treats to keep them occupied, but if you do decide to slip a handout into their dish, make sure it’s safe. Acceptable foods include plain carrots, green beans, plain canned pumpkin, plain sweet potatoes, and boneless meat (no gravy or spice).

Risky Holiday Decorations

Certain holiday decorations/gift wrappings can be choking hazards for your pet. These include:

  • Ribbon, string, and twine
  • Tinsel and tinsel garland
  • Flocking and angel hair
  • Small ornaments or knickknacks

Other decorations can cause toxicity:

  • Pine needles, tree sap, and the water in the tree stand
  • Mistletoe, holly, and Jerusalem cherry (Poinsettias are only mildly toxic)
  • Essential oils and liquid potpourri

Some decorative pieces can cause injury or be a fire hazard:

  • Light strands and electrical cords
  • Candles, lanterns, and/or fireplaces
  • Christmas trees
  • Glass ornaments and metal hooks

However you choose to celebrate the holidays, be mindful of how you decorate and what items are sitting within your pet’s reach. You can always contact us at (843) 571-7095 if you have questions!

Holiday Pet Safety in Charleston: A Beagle Looking Up Standing Near a Christmas Tree