You know Dasher and Dancer…I mean…you know about the obvious risks when you mix pets and Christmas. Electric lights (chew, chew, yelp!), tree water (ack), and cooked (and brittle) poultry bones are some of the obvious ones. Here are some surprising naughty Christmas items, and some nice ways to avoid their dangers:
Surprisingly, poinsettias aren’t as dangerous as the myth would have us believe. For a list of other seasonal plants that ARE toxic to pets, see Dangerous Holiday Plants from PetMD.
Separate the plants from the pets when you’re not around to monitor their munching. (If you have a chewer, best to never let him and the plant be in the same room for any length of time!)
Ribbons and wrapping paper can cause intestinal blockages if they are swallowed. But the big danger here is chocolate, one of the 5 Most Common Christmas Day Pet Emergencies. If it’s wrapped up, you don’t even KNOW you’re putting chocolate under the tree, within sniffing (and licking, chewing, and eating) distance of your dog.
Avoid this by putting all wrapped presents in a place where only animals with thumbs can reach them. Yes, they may not look as festive in your cupboard, but think of the emergency vet bill you’re avoiding!
Even if you’ve never known your dog to dumpster dive, the yummy things in the trash this time of year could entice her. And dogs are willing to go to inhuman lengths to get to that garbage. This can include chewing through the plastic of the can. And there are untold dangers in the garbage, especially this time of year. ABC’d gum, as my Dad and Grandpa always referred to it, is gum that has already been chewed. Ew to us, but smells and tastes yummy to dogs. Xylitol, a sugarless additive in many types of gum, is very toxic to animals.
Separate the recyclables from the trash, and both from the pets. Again, ensure that trash is in a spot that you need thumbs to access.
Bonus stocking stuffer: Pet Tips for the Holidays from the ASPCA.