While you may not be able to receive compensation if your pet is injured this holiday season, and you certainly don’t have to worry about your dog suing you in civil court, we would be remiss if we did not take the time to warn of common holiday dangers for pets. As animal lovers, we know that you consider your pets part of the family and want them to be safe and healthy. In that vein, we have compiled a list of the most common holiday items that pose a threat to your fur-covered family members.
- Human Food
Many people like to show their pets a bit of affection by sharing their holiday meals or even cooking their animals a special meal of their own. Before you put down a plate of turkey, ham or beef for your dog, keep in mind that many of these foods can cause pancreatitis in your pet. This is especially true of dogs that are not used to having human food on a consistent basis. Skip the turkey and buy your dog a special treat made specifically for it.
Alcohol, when consumed by pets, can cause lethargy and diarrhea at best. At worst, your pet could fall into a coma, experience seizures or have difficulty breathing. Keep your pet away from the eggnog and the annual holiday punch.
- Sugar-Free Goods
Many people opt for sugar-free baked goods as a healthier option. Unfortunately, these products can be deadly to pets. If you are going to shop sugar-free, read the label and make sure your food doesn’t contain xylitol. The artificial sweetener can cause your pet’s blood pressure to drop quickly and dangerously.
- Tinsel and Ribbon
Tinsel and ribbons are shiny and inviting. They are virtually begging to be chewed — by dogs and cats, anyway. When ingested, these items can cause what is called a linear foreign body. Without being too graphic, strings can make their way through the intestines, wrap around them and cause severe damage. If you don’t want to pay thousands for emergency surgery, decorate with something else or be sure to keep these items out of your pet’s mouth.
- The Rush
The holidays are busy. If your pet is used to relaxing on the couch while you watch television, the extra company and your hurried behavior can be stressful. If you plan on having more company than normal or are finding yourself in a rush to get things done, make sure that your pet has a safe place to retreat to when it feels the need to relax.
We love our pets and know that you do, too. Keep them in mind this holiday season as you celebrate with friends and family. You may not have to worry about being sued by your pet, but you could very well end up paying big for illness or injury.