It’s the season of giving, and that means being thoughtful about what you’re giving your pets. There are certain things they can’t have — chocolate is particularly toxic to dogs, but other foods also can cause problems. And while they might get into the wrapping paper, they don’t understand it’s not for them.
Even if you don’t have a pet at home, there are plenty of them to be found in shelters and animal hospitals around this time of year. Here’s how to keep your pets safe during the holidays:
- Chocolate: It’s delicious, but it’s dangerous for pets. A few ounces can kill a small dog. Smaller amounts will make your dog sick or even kill him or her over time. Be especially aware of any chocolate products that are “accidentally” left out for Santa and his reindeer on Christmas Eve.
- Electrical cords can be very dangerous for pets. If a pet chews through an electrical cord, they can be injured or even killed. Keep all electrical items out of reach of pets and be sure to take them down before you leave your home.
- Decorating with tinsel and garland can be fun, but keep them out of reach of pets. Tinsel has been known to cause intestinal blockages in dogs if ingested. Keep an eye on the garland as well—it may be tempting for some curious kitties to nibble on. To prevent pets from ingesting toxic substances such as tinsel, look for pet-friendly holiday decorations and avoid using toxic chemicals like mothballs near pets. If you’re going to use decorations indoors, make sure you keep them out of reach of pets and children.
- In addition to playing it safe with the decorations, it’s important to keep your pets safe from other hazards of the season such as antifreeze or chocolate. Also forbidden are turkey bones or any bones for that matter – cooked or uncooked – which can splinter and cause internal damage.