Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holiday Household Pet Poisons

As most of us with pets know, it is extremely important to "pet proof" your house. Our dogs and cats can easily hurt themselves if they ingest many of the things we come in contact with daily.

Most of us are familiar with many of these items, such as antifreeze, pest control baits, garden fertilizers and pesticides, human medications, household cleaners and chemicals, and certain foods like chocolate and onions.

But this time of year brings other potentially dangerous items that many owners don't know about:

Holly, lillies, mistletoe, and poinsettias are common holiday plants that are fun to have around, but could be dangerous to your pets.

Christmas trees pose many dangers. The needles of the tree are mildly toxic as well as the water that the tree sits in. Other concerns are the cords for the Christmas lights, the ornaments themselves, and tinsel.

Many of us are careful throughout the year with watching our pets around "people food"; however, busy holiday parties are a great place for pets to snack on many things that can hurt them. Alcohol, coffee, chocolate (and other sugary sweets), yeast bread dough, and turkey bones are just a few of the food to watch out for.

Despite our best efforts to "pet proof" the holidays, many animals still become sick from these common holiday items. If you suspect that your pet has ingested a poisonous or toxic substance, call your veterinarian or poison control immediately. They might be able to give you tips that could save your pet's life.