Holiday Hazards for Pets You Want to Avoid

holiday hazards for pets Christmas tree cat

Our pets usually find ways of getting into things that can get them in trouble. I’m not talking about chewing on your favorite shoe, attacking a roll of toilet paper or getting into the makeup bag to scatter or slobber on items just because you forgot to lock it. Those actions are just bad pet behavior. However, there are some holiday hazards for pets you want to avoid that could spell needless health trouble for that beloved cat or dog that doesn’t need to happen.

Many of us will be baking up a storm of holiday cookies, cakes, pies, and treats or serving more chocolates than ever. The only problem is leaving a candy dish of chocolates, a tray of cookies or other chocolate related baked goods unattended in the room if your dog or cat is walking freely about in your house. Unfortunately, chocolate has a component called theobromine that can be toxic for either your dog or cat.

The strongest amount of theobromine is in baking chocolate and dark chocolate. Milk chocolate has about a third less of that chemical, but it is enough to make your pet suffer. Depending on your pet’s weight determines how much of that chocolate the animal could eat before the need to rush it to your vet.

Speaking of holiday foods that could be out on your table or accidently dropped are macadamia nuts. Be careful because these particular nuts are dangerous for both dogs and cats with a toxin that can cause vomiting, muscle weakness especially in the hind legs of your dog, an overheated body to tremors in cats. In fact, most all nuts from walnuts, pecans and almonds are just as dangerous for them. Peanuts are the exception if given as an occasional treat but something you really should be careful with about sharing to avoid any allergies.

Raisins and grapes are other health holiday hazards for pets to be mindful of. Ingesting these can trigger kidney failure for both your dog and cat.

Onions and garlic have sulfur compounds that have negative effects on a dog or cat’s red blood cells to cause a bad case of anemia. Treating your pooch or kitty to a cooked meat with onions and garlic for extra flavor is not the kindness you may have thought.

Holiday hazards for pets can also apply to a live Christmas tree and some holiday plants. The oil of a fir tree can cause symptoms such as vomiting and drooling while chewing the needles could hurt the pet’s intestinal tract.

Even if your animal doesn’t munch directly on the tree, you got to worry about the water the live fir tree is placed in. If you pet drinks from that bowl of growing bacteria and whatever fertilizers that tree had in its sap, your dog or cat can really become very ill after just a little.

Mistletoe has berries that are toxic with toxalbumin and pharatoxin viscumin for both dogs and cats. You need to be very careful because eating those can cause severe health problems from seizures, abdominal pains, diarrhea, vomiting to death.

Poinsettia plants are beautiful and always add a cheery, festive touch for holiday decorating. At the same, they offer holiday health hazards for pets due to their harmful sap for dogs, cats, and small children. Usually vomiting is one of the first signs, so be alert.

The holidays are a time for joy and not suffering. With any luck, these tips on holiday hazards for pets can help keep them safer.


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