Protecting Your Pets for the Holidays
Well, autumn is upon us. Besides being the precursor to winter (which for some readers means shoveling snow in the near future,) it also means the eating and feasting holidays are fast approaching. Along with our eating to excess, comes a variety of things that are good for us but unhealthy – in fact, poisonous for our pets.
Along with the holiday preparations comes stress, muscle aches and headaches. To relieve these effects many of us will take naproxen, acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve what ails us. It might relieve our temporary pains but is poisonous to our dogs and cats and can cause moderate to severe reactions, and can even be life threatening.
The beautiful Amaryllis plant, a pretty Christmas decoration, is also poisonous to both dogs and cats. It can cause mild to moderate symptoms.
Australian nuts, also known as Macadamia nuts, nuts that are so tasty to humans, are poisonous to both dogs and cats.
The California treat, the avocado, something that seems to be a food staple on the west coast, is poisonous to a number of animals. It can have a mild negative effect on dogs and cats. It can also have a moderate to severe symptoms for cows and birds.
Shamrocks, holly, mistletoe and baby’s breath, floral piece fillers and holiday decorations are poisonous to both dogs and cats. It can cause mild to moderate poisonous reactions in both dogs and cats. Cats just love to pull the baby’s breath out of the bouquet as it sits decorating the house. The berries on the holly attract the cats and are fun to pullout of centerpieces and chew on while batting them around the house.
Caffeine, the stimulant found in our coffee, tea, soft drinks and energy potions is extremely dangerous for our dogs and cats. It is so dangerous that it can not only cause moderate to severe poison symptoms, but can actually be life threatening.
Cherries are a tasty fruit and a wonderful addition to the holiday table, but are also poisonous to our dogs and cats. The reactions can be mild to moderate.
Cream cheese and chives on crackers makes a great appetizer before holiday dinners. As tasty as this spread can be, the chives are poison to our dogs and cats and can cause mild to moderate reactions.
Halloween came and went. Kids came home with trick or treat bags full of candy. If your dog and cat are looking for a treat, do not allow them to eat candy, especially chocolate. It is deadly and can cause moderate to severe reactions.
The beautiful chrysanthemum plant adds color to any home and can be planted outdoors. Since it is a perennial it will come back year after year with great color. However, the plant itself is poisonous to dogs and cats. The reaction to its consumption is usually mild.
So many holiday cakes and treats contain grapes, currents and raisins. Your dog might be looking forward to desert with you, but currents and raisins can cause moderate to severe poisonous reactions.
Garlic can spice up a loaf of Italian or French bread. It also will brighten up any pasta dish. Your holiday meat dish might need that extra condiment to make people rave. The bad news is garlic can poison your dog or cat and create mild to moderate illness.
Leeks and onions are dangerous for your pets. They may add flavor to your salads, gravies and main course dishes, but they can cause mild to moderate poisoning to both your dog and cat.
For many people, mushrooms are an acquired taste delicacy. Some like them, others don’t. Pets will eat them just because they are there. Keep the dogs and cats away from mushrooms – they can cause moderate to severe poison symptoms.
Rhubarb can be a vegetable on your holiday plate, or half of a strawberry – rhubarb pie. However, it is poisonous to both dogs and cats and can cause a mild to moderate reaction.
Table salt is used in cooking and seasoning. Some people like it – others don’t. For some it is unhealthy. For dogs, cats, horses, cows and birds it can cause catastrophic poisoning with symptoms ranging from moderate right through severe all the way to life threatening.
Tobacco and nicotine are not only bad for humans, but just as bad for your dog or cat. Just like with humans, it depends on how much of each they consume. For your dogs and cats it can cause moderate to severe poisoning.
Tomatoes are an excellent addition to a salad. They also add extra flavor to many cooked dishes. The bad news is tomatoes can cause intestinal distress in dogs, cats and believe it or not, cows.
There are a few other things that lie around the house during the holidays that can be dangerous to your pets. Keep your pain killers, vitamins and sleep aids out of your pet’s reach. They are poisonous and can cause a variety of reactions from mild to severe.
Many people use tinsel to decorate live Christmas trees. The brightness and the movement of the tinsel in tree attract pets like a play toy. If consumed, it can rupture their intestines.
A holiday fire in a fireplace or fire pit brightens any home or patio and adds something special to the festivities. The easiest way to build a fire is to use the artificial compressed logs. The smell of the unused logs can attract your dog, and like a branch found in the yard, appear to be a chew toy. Not only might the poisonous symptoms be mild to moderate, but they also might involve surgery to remove blockages.
Flea and tick medications as well as flea and tick collars help relieve flea and tick infestations, but if dogs and cats consume them instead of wearing them, the results can be devastating with mild to severe symptoms going as far as life threatening.
The final warning goes out regarding mothballs. They help protect clothes from moths when stored in closets. Some people spread them in garden beds to keep domestic animals away from their plants. If your pet consumes them they are poisonous and can cause life threatening poisoning.
One final thing we would like to call to your attention and suggest you keep handy year round is the telephone number of the nearest twenty-four hour veterinary emergency clinic as well as a poison control emergency telephone number.
We here at 805 Emporium hope you and your pets have a healthy and happy holiday season. If we can do anything to help you brighten your holidays for family, friends and pets, please let us know.