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2 Ways to Keep Pets Safe this Holiday Season - Prevention is Key

 It is supposed to be the most-wonderful-time-of-the-year so don't ruin your holiday with a sick or even worse, dead, 4-legged family member.

It’s easy to forget about our furry friends with all the excitement of family gathering together but it is critical to think about your pets safety ahead of time as many dangers can be avoided.

A recent study from the East Midlands region of England found that 79 percent of vets said they saw at least one case of animal poisoning during the season last year.  Chocolate poisoning remains the most common cause of toxic ingestion at Christmas for dogs, with 72 percent of vets seeing at least one case.

The study also found there was a spike in raisin or sultana poisoning over the past two years, with 52 percent vets reporting treating a case during last year’s festive season. Many cats also suffered toxic ingestion last Christmas, with 45 percent of vets in the East Midlands having treated felines for antifreeze poisoning.

Don't let your animal become a statistic!

From holiday decorations to toxic products and foods, animals are at higher risk of being harmed simply because of the holidays. Even if you are diligent with buying natural pet products, the excitement and busyness of this time of year can make us forget about all the toxic things pets may come in contact with during the holidays.

Here are 2 ways to keep your pets safe this holiday season:

1. Keep Pets Away From Poisons

Plants can be highly toxic to animals especially cats so it is important to avoid these:

  • Amaryllis, English ivy, Jerusalem cherry, Mistletoe, Lilies, Poinsettia, English holly, Cyclamen  and Christmas cactus, Christmas Tree water (sap and needles are hazardous to cats and dogs).
    *You can place aluminum foil over your tree stand to prevent your pets from drinking out of it.
Food can be poisonous or irritate your pets digestive system. Tell children to not leave stocking/candy remnants on the floor or on surfaces easily reachable to pets. Avoid these foods and make sure leftovers are not in reach of pets.
  • Grapes, raisins, currants, chocolates
  • Xylitol (a sweetener in sugar-free gums and candies that can cause hypoglycemia and liver failure in dogs).
  • Leftover meats (which can cause digestive issues in cats and dogs)
  • Bones (especially cooked poultry bones, which can cause animals to choke if swallowed)
  • Alcohol (found in many desserts and unbaked yeast dough)
Antifreeze and Rock Salt De-icers Are Risks to Pets
  • Antifreeze: Ethylene Glycol is used in windshield de-icing agents and can be ingested by dogs and cats when they carry it on their feet and lick them causing antifreeze poisoning. Store antifreeze containers tightly sealed and out of your animals reach.
  • Rock Salt De-Icers: Chloride salts or rock salts are sprinkled over high traffic area such as stairs and sidewalks to prevent slips and falls. Salt based de-icers are contact irritants that can cause a lot of pain as they melt and heat up. Pets can get them stuck in their fur and paws, which can cause serious burns and pain. Ingestion can occur during grooming or drinking from a puddle that contains de-icer. To prevent this, bathe your pet regularly after being outside and don't let them drink from puddles.
2. Eliminate Safety Hazards
  • Keep decorations away from pets.
    • Tree lights, tinsels, wrapping paper, ribbons and other materials can cause a lot of harm if your pet ingests it. They can choke or suffer burns (external and internal).
  • Create a barrier around the tree so it cannot fall over.
  • Buy safe, natural pet care products or organic pet care products that are made without toxic materials or chemicals and will not rip apart easily. Consider giving natural pet products to animals as their holiday gift! Check out some of our favs below.

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