Even though we don’t carry Pet Insurance here at Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency, it doesn’t mean that we don’t think about our furry little friends, especially around the holidays. There are ribbons, wrapping paper, ornaments and tinsel that make really appealing chew toys for any playful pet. Cats, big or small, love to play with those shiny strands but they also like to eat it when they catch them too. If those strands end up entangled inside of them an infection may occur and the symptoms could show up too late. There are many Christmas things that are hazards to our pets, cats and dogs alike. Here are some items that can be of concern or at least to be cautious about.
Tinsel – if ingested, can cause infection if not passed
Holiday lights – remember National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation? Enough said..
Water from the tree stand & potpourri pots – may be toxic, depending on the contents
Boxes of chocolate – very toxic to both cats and dogs
Mistletoe – if eaten, very toxic
Poinsettias – surprisingly not toxic as once foretold, but may cause some stomach distress
The best preventative is to eliminate the tinsel altogether for it is difficult to monitor and make safe. As for the holiday lights just take measures to make sure they aren’t hanging too low where a pet can be tempted to chew, especially with puppies. Also, use grounded 3-prong extensions cords as well as take the time to disconnect them when not in use. It may be necessary to use a child gate across the doorways to keep your pet from the Christmas tree and decorations during your absence. Boxes of chocolate should be kept completely out of reach. It’s not enough that it’s enclosed for a dog can chew through a box or bag, especially if they can smell it. Place mistletoe completely out of reach of anyone for just handling the plant may loosen leaves that could eventually fall and become ingested. The typical tradition is to hang the plant well above the heads of guests in the entryways, but it is still a good measure to check it periodically for any loose leaves. Better yet, purchase a faux plant that you don’t have to constantly worry about.