The holidays are filled with joy, laughter, and time spent with family and friends. In the bustle of the season, however, it’s easy to forget these festivities aren’t always pet-friendly. We at Kamm Insurance Group know how important our pets can be to the whole family. Here are some reminders to keep your furry friends out of the vet clinic this holiday season.
Many traditional holiday decorations can be toxic to your pets, including popular plants such as poinsettias, lilies, ivy, and pine trees. Prevent your dogs or cats from chewing on branches or needles that fall from the tree. Ingested needles (even from a fake tree) can get lodged in the intestinal tract, puncturing the lining or bunching together and causing an intestinal obstruction. When decorating the tree, keep lights and tinsel away from the bottom of the tree where pets can get to them. If you choose a real tree, the water at the base contains dangerous chemicals that could harm your pet. And don’t leave candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves, or accidentally knock them over and spill wax or start a fire.
Spending time with family and friends is part of the holiday fun. However, having guests coming in and out of your home may be stressful to your pets. The excitement of a party may overwhelm some pets, so provide your cat or dog with a quiet room or crate they can go to during holiday parties. Inform your visitors ahead of time that you have a pet. And make sure to keep your pets inside during cold weather and provide plenty of toys to keep them busy.
Holiday meals are a crowd favorite, and many guests may be tempted to share the goodies with your pets. Let them know what is and is not safe for your pets before they do, and discourage them from giving too many handouts. Foods your pet can safely eat include winter squash, green beans, peas, carrots, apples (but never the core or seeds), spinach, corn (no cobs, as they can cause intestinal blockages), melon, berries, and bananas. Do not give them bones because they easily splinter and can cause serious health problems (even death). Avoid giving them chocolate—which is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets—and any candy containing the toxic sweetener xylitol. Keep foods containing citric acid away from your pets. Coffee grounds, beans, chocolate-covered espresso beans, raw eggs, grapes and raisins, nuts, onions, and salt should also be kept out of your pet’s food dish.
We hope these tips can help you and your pets have a great holiday season. Warm wishes from all of us at Kamm Insurance Group.