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Ten Winter Holiday Pet Hazards

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Holiday Hazards

Winter holidays are a wonderful time to enjoy being with family and friends. But with all the extra hustle and bustle, you may forget to abide by the same pet-proofing measures you follow the rest of the year. Here are ten holiday pet safety hazards that you should be aware of to help keep your pet safe and happy through this holiday season.

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1. Chocolate

Chocolate can be a wonderful treat for us during the holidays and it can be plenty dangerous for our pets as it can be found almost anywhere in the form of chocolate coins, baking chocolate morsels, and even chocolate-covered espresso beans and macadamia nuts which can all dispense an unhealthy dose of methylxanthines to pets.

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2. Alcohol

It’s highly unlikely that any of your household guests would dare to give your pet a sip of their alcoholic drink, but they may not think twice about a piece of rum cake. Pets may also inadvertently become poisoned if they eat any unbaked bread dough due to the ethanol released from the uncooked yeast.

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3. Grapes (and Raisins)

Grapes and raisins are a common pet safety hazards for pets during the holidays due to them being in many different holiday dishes. These dishes need to be kept out of reach of the pets in the home when they are not being used.

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4. Medications

You more than likely are good at pet-proofing your house for holidays, but once the holiday guests arrive, that may no longer be the case. Guests don’t always consider the pets around the house and may leave open suitcases on the ground, where pets can easily get into prescription and/or over the counter medications. If you think your pet ingested any medications or supplements, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control (888) 426-4435 right away.

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5. Tinsel

Cats love to play with tinsel but it is also very dangerous for them if they decide to chew on it or eat it. Tinsel is thin and sharp and can easily wrap itself around the intestines or ball up in the stomach once ingested.

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6. Xylitol

Many don’t recognize the name but xylitol is a sugar substitute found in some sugar-free candies, gum and recipes, as well as other sugar free products more receintly. When ingested by pets, xylitol may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and in severe cases, liver failure.

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7. Plants

Mistletoe and holly are common for the holiday season but they are also two of the more toxic holiday plants to pets, causing severe gastrointestinal disorders, breathing difficulty, even heart failure in extreme cases. While poinsettias are not quite as poisonous they can still cause indigestion in our pet. Therefore you should still use caution, especially around puppies and kittens.

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8. Liquid Potpourri

Liquid potpourri can help freshen up any room but the concentrated fragrance is poisonous to pets and cats seem to especially become curious about investigating it. If using potpourri in your home please take precautions to keep your pets away from where it is located.

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9. Holiday Ornaments

Many ornaments have sharp edges that can cause perforations and lacerations to pets that try to chew on the so please take precautions of where decorations are located and watch your pet to see if they are showing a little too much interest in a decoration that is within their reach.

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10. Electrical Cords

Take care where you place electrical cords and outlets, and when possible, place them out of reach from your pets, tape them down or cover them in protective casing.

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Be Prepared

While spending holidays with pets can be wonderful and enjoyable, it is always important to be mindful of these pet safety concerns. With a little common sense and a lot of preparation, you can minimize dangers your pets are exposed to.

One of the most important things to have on hand incase of a pet emergency is the number for your veterinarian should your pet need immediate care. (SMVC 970-327-4279)

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