Hidden Holiday Pet Hazards
We are often reminded during the holidays “Don’t let your dog eat candy. Chocolate is toxic to dogs.” We are not often reminded that tin foil and cellophane wrappers can be hazardous too.
Every day there is a heartbroken pet parent who comes home or wakes up to find their fur baby suffocated by a simple bag that was inadvertently left out. The biggest offending bags are chip bags (Doritos , chex mix, etc ) the dog sticks their head in the bag and is not able to remove it. Seems simple. Why can’t they get the bag off? It is slippery and without thumbs they can’t pull it off. Their paws collapse it down when trying to remove and as they panic the bag sticks to their snoot (remember it is well licked and sticky inside already). The second offender is boxes of cereal. The same issue occurs. Make sure that ALL PLASTIC BAGS AND BOXES WITH BAG LINERS IN THEM (chips, snack crackers, cookies, cereal, etc.) are WAY out of your pets reach!!!!!! If they are in a trash can, then seal the lid or keep the container behind a closed door.
During the flurry of festive unwrapping we also do not keep close attention to when casings tear and we miss picking up all the pieces of cellophane ( CD’s/DVD’s, electronics in boxes, cookies in Ziploc, tastycake wrappers etc). Small pieces of the clear plastic are often tasted by our four legged hoovers and at times they stick to the back of the throat. The pet goes into a coughing fit but is not able to dislodge it. If you are around when this occurs, and are looking in your dog or cats mouth you will see nothing, after all it is clear. Then your pet walks away and lays down where it suffocates.
This is not a rare occurrence. Sadly, it's a daily happening. It also can happen with adult dogs or cats. We tend to be more alert to puppies and kittens, but when a pet is 9 years old we have a comfort level that creates a false sense of security.
Here are a few other ‘reminders’:
Be careful with candles near your dog! Sometimes a stray tail can knock over a candle leading to a fire. Consider using a no flame candle.
Wires and cords could harm your dog. Safely secure all wires and cords from decorative lights and props. Chewing on cords can cause cuts, burns or life-threatening electrical shock.
Keep your dog’s ID on! Accidents happen! While you are opening the door for holiday guests, your pup may make a run for it. When taking your pet on a holiday trip, a seat belt and tags are a must. The proper identification can be a lifesaver.
Happy New Year!
VP, A Pathway to Hope