This year, for the winter holidays, I am going to add a poinsettia to my table. I wonder how many pet owners just gasped in horror? I have avoided poinsettias for years because I heard they are toxic, but this year, I did some research and found out they are not! That made me wonder what I may have missed over the past few years and now I am brimming with holiday tips for others. Allow me to share a few:
- Christmas trees in themselves aren’t dangerous, but if they aren’t secured, the can fall over and cause injury either from the tree or broken ornaments. Also, with some live trees, the stagnant water or fertilizers contained in can cause some tummy upset.
- Holiday guests- While Holiday guests may affect your mental health, if they aren’t used to your pet, they may leave items out that your pet can get such as medication, food, and other small chewable items (my dog stole my aunt’s hearing aid once!).
- Food items- Yep, that fruit cake is dangerous, as is chocolate (especially the dark chocolate); anything containing raisins; Sugarless gum and candies (containing xylitol). Fatty meats and table scraps can also lead to Pancreatitis, so avoid those even if you want to give Fido a little treat.
- Drinks- watch out for those holiday drinks to include alcohol and coffee. Yes, too much caffeine or alcohol can be just as dangerous for your pet as it is for you!
- Candles and liquid potpourris- This is one I just learned and I am going to have to put my candles and potpourri a little higher. Also keep in mind your running grey can easily knock over a lit candle.
- And back to my poinsettia. While I now know they are not toxic, lets talk about what is- Mistletoe and Holly can both be toxic. If you feel like you must have mistletoe, remove the berries and place it high.
While this list may make you rethink some Holiday décor and traditions, as with everything, we recommend caution and common sense. And more than anything, we wish everyone a happy, healthy, and restful holiday season!
For more information on any of the above, please visit: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/holiday-safety-tips