Holiday Pet Safety in Barrie

The holidays can be a smorgasbord of delights for your pet, who probably loves to get into all kinds of things. From sweet treats and savory meals to sparkling decorations and glass ornaments, there are all sorts of items to draw your pet’s interest, and potentially get them into trouble!

Dangerous Decorations

The following items can cause choking, bowel obstruction, and injury if swallowed:

  • String, tinsel and ribbon
  • Electrical cords and strands of lights
  • Loose bulbs
  • Candles/open flames
  • Glass ornaments
  • Artificial trees/plants

Toxic Plants

Holly, mistletoe, amaryllis, Christmas cactus, and Jerusalem cherry can be very toxic when ingested. Pine sap is mostly toxic for cats, but it can make your dog ill, as well. Keep all pets away from the Christmas tree stand so they don’t drink the water, which likely contains not only tree sap but tree preservatives, too. Also, make sure the tree stand is secure and steady, and try to prevent your cat from climbing into the branches.

Also be sure to watch out for pine needles; these can get caught in your pet’s nasal passages and cause internal injury if swallowed. For greater safety, we recommend keeping mistletoe out of the house completely, since it can be fatal.

Foods & Beverages

You or some of your guests may be tempted to offer table scraps to your pet, but we suggest keeping them away from the table whenever possible and keeping them occupied with their own food and treats. Avoid giving meat bones to your pet, as these can splinter and cause choking, intestinal blockage, internal injury, and even damage the teeth. Common foods that can make your pet sick include:

  • Chocolate (chocolate with high cocoa content is more dangerous)
  • Nuts (Macadamia, walnuts, pecans, and pistachios)
  • Onions, garlic, shallots, leeks, and chives
  • Corn cobs
  • Grapes, currants, and raisins
  • Sugar-free candies, gum and mints, and baked goods
  • Butter, grease from meat, yeast in unbaked dough

Is Your Pet a Wallflower?

Some pets can become very anxious when guests come over, and if they don’t run upstairs to hide, they might bolt for the door. As guests are coming in, make sure your pet is being supervised in another room where they can enjoy the peace and quiet. Keep their food, water, and toys nearby so they can stay occupied.