Holiday Health Hazards
Christmas and the Holiday Season is the favourite time of year for many of us, but it can bring with it health and safety hazards for both pets and people.
Here are some tips to help avoid trips to the Emergency clinic:
1) Avoid edible tree decorations like cookies or foil wrapped chocolates. Remember the gingerbread men Grandma used to hang on the tree? They are not for homes with pets. Also to be avoided are foil type tinsel, and anything with ribbons that come off easily. Cats love to play with them, and once string or thread gets caught in the barbs on their tongue, they can’t get them out of their mouths. We once saw a cat that had swallowed the thread that is wrapped around those ‘satin’ ball decorations, and had one end wrapped around her tongue.
2) The tree also has lots of electrical cords. Make sure they are well concealed or wrapped in a cable cover to prevent curious pets from chewing at them and getting an electrical shock or burn.
3) Edible gifts are to be avoided under the tree as well. Always ask if a gift contains anything edible before putting it under the tree, and when visiting friends with pets, be sure to tell them if you have brought a wrapped gift that contains food. A common occurrence this time of year is for pets to sniff out the chocolate under the tree, and eat it all when no is watching.
4) Candles are a popular Christmas decoration, and pets may be fascinated by the flickering flame, and try to smell or touch it. Hot candle wax will cause a painful burn. A candle can also be a fire hazard if knocked over by a rambunctious dog or curious cat.
5) When you are entertaining try appointing a family member as the designated pet watcher, to ensure pets do not get out the door when guests are arriving, or eat food that they shouldn’t.
Have a safe and happy holiday season!