Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Keeping Critters Safe During The Holidays

I love all the trappings and decorations that go with Christmas. When Cody was a puppy, he was good and I really didn’t have to worry about him. Enter Copper. He is an adorable 3 year old but mischievious, class clown and full of fun. I have to watch him every minute around everything. To insure that you holidays are safe for you pups, check out the following advice:

Pointsettias, Mistletoe and Holly

Be extra careful about where you place them. Keep holiday plants out of a dog's reach. To a puppy, or a playful and curious young dog, a plant or a basket of holly might look like something fun to play to with, but many holiday flowers, plants, and greens are toxic to pets. Remember to pick up any leaves, blooms and berries that have fallen and remove any withered or dried matter that might soon fall off.
Poinsettias were once thought to be highly poisonous. The toxicity of poinsettias is actually quite low but ingesting the leaves or flowers can cause stomach upset and skin, eye and mucous membrane irritation.
The berries of some varieties of holly are toxic. They can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and possible central nervous system depression. Keep holly out of reach and pick up fallen berries immediately. If berries are ingested, induce vomiting as soon as possible and seek medical attention.
Certain varieties of mistletoe contain toxins that can cause stomach and intestinal irritation, diarrhea, and a decrease in blood pressure and pulse. Some veterinarians recommend that vomiting be induced following ingestion of mistletoe leaves, stems, or berries.

Christmas cactus can cause upset stomach, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.

Eating Amaryllis bulbs can cause vomiting, collapse, and respiratory distress and can be fatal, especially in puppies and very old dogs.

If you think your dog may have eaten parts of a toxic plant, call your veterinarian. Even normally non-toxic plants can make a dog sick if they've recently been sprayed with chemical pesticides. Possible symptoms are excessive salivation, runny nose, watery eyes, skin rash, breathing or swallowing difficulties, vomiting or convulsions.

The Christmas Tree
Use a sturdy tree stand. Use thin green craft wire or heavy fishing line to anchor a very large tree to a wall or ceiling to prevent it from tipping over. Don't add aspirin or chemical preservatives to your tree's water. Use a heavy tree skirt to cover the tree stand. Be extra mindful of always having water in your dog's bowl to discourage drinking water from the Christmas tree.

Don't use food as ornaments or ornaments made with food ingredients on your tree. Dogs have died from salt poisoning after eating ornaments made from homemade craft dough containing high levels of salt. Don't use popcorn garland to decorate your Christmas tree. In an attempt to eat the popcorn garland, dogs have been known to undecorate a tree.

Hang breakable ornaments high on the tree out of a dog's reach.

Don't use strands of tinsel. They can cause major intestinal damage if swallowed.

Unless it's specifically labeled non-toxic and safe for use around pets, don't use spray-on snows or flocking on a Christmas tree. They are respiratory irritants when inhaled and they can cause stomach upset if ingested.

Don't leave electric wires dangling where a curious pup can become tangled in them. Fasten cords from light strings together, well inside the tree, out of sight and out of reach. Cover cords leading to outlets with a tree skirt.

Other Holiday Decorations

Secure electric window candles to sills and tape cords below the windows. To prevent a pet from chewing on cords from Christmas lights and electric decorations, inside and out, cover or hide the cords. Use extension cords when needed to run cords along walls and baseboards to prevent entanglement.

Don't use angel hair. It's made of spun fiber-glass, which is a skin and eye irritant. It can cause tiny cuts and eye damage.

Place lighted candles where they can't be knocked over. Be especially careful when burning candles around curious pups and dogs with large happy tails. Besides the obvious fire danger, spilled hot wax can burn skin. Never leave lighted candles unattended. Extinguish all lighted candles before leaving the house, even for a few minutes.

On Christmas morning

Don't leave gifts of food under a Christmas tree, before or after presents have been opened. A dog can smell things that you cannot. Whether its pet treats, a box of chocolates, or a tray of bologna and cheese, dogs know when a wrapped package contains food.

Gift bows, stings, etc. can cause choking. Don't give your dog the opportunity to play with ribbons, tape or wrapping paper, which can cause choking and serious intestinal problems. Don't allow kids to tie ribbons or bows around a dogs neck .

Put toys away after they are opened. Have children put new toys and games, including all the small pieces, back in their boxes. Chewing on small toys can cause choking and intestinal obstruction. (In addition to making a child very unhappy because new toys are ruined.)

Keep batteries for new Christmas toys out of a dog's reach. Batteries contain corrosives that can cause ulceration to the mouth, tongue, and gastrointestinal tract.

Excerpted from
Ann, Cody and Copper


Giupetto and Gianna Tails said...

Excellent information Annie. So important to know. Great post and perfect timing.

AngelPups said...

Great really is just like having kids...oh, wait! These are my kids ;-)
Kelly & Crew
Big Mac, Molly & Moxie~

makingstuffwithlove said...

Wonderful information! Many things I didn't know or wouldn't have thought about...

Those Elgin Pugs said...

Thats for the very impawtant tips!!
IzZY, Josie, TriXie and Anakin Man

Those Elgin Pugs said...

we's meant to say thanks for the very impawtant tips~~~ :)

Art and Sew Forth said...

That was FULL of info! I knew many of those, but not all! Every pet owner should read this!

Three Wishes Collective said...

Wow - a lot of great information! Velvet eats anything and everything, so we have to be very mindful of things that she can reach and climb up to.