Be Aware of Holidays Hazards for you and Your Pets

Be Aware of Holidays Hazards for you and Your Pets

HAGERSTOWN -- As we approach the holiday season the Humane Society of Washington County, Inc. reminds everyone to keep their pets safe from potentially harmful holiday hazards. Please remember these potentially dangerous holiday items:
Human Food-it looks just as wonderful to our pets as it does to us but the food we eat can be harmful to our pets
* Never feed leftovers to your pets. They may contain fatty foods and seeds that could cause intentional and gastric upset.
* Never give pets cooked bones. They may splinter and shatter and could choke your pet or puncture their intestines.
* Chocolate, coffee, onions, raisins and grapes are all toxic to dogs and cats.
* Rising dough can cause severe stomach and intentional problems.
* Food and treats found in foil and other non-digestible materials can lead to blockages.
* Avoid sweeteners. Xylitol, a sugar alcohol sweetener used in gum and candies can cause low blood pressure and can attack the liver in dogs, and be fatal if ingested in large quantities. Sweeteners such as sucralose (Splenda), aspartame (NutraSweet) and saccharin (Sweet N' Low) are not known to cause the same problems in dogs or other pets that the sweetener xylitol does but they could potentially cause mild gastrointestinal upset if eaten in significant quantities. Be safe and avoid all sweeteners for your pets.
* Never give your pets Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, naproxen (Aleve), or acetaminophen (Tylenol). The dog's liver cannot filter these materials and will build up in the dog's system. It can be fatal.
Holiday Plants-they may be beautiful and represent the holidays but:
* Mistletoe berries, poinsettia leaves, stems and flowers and holly can all cause digestive problems
* Water from the Christmas tree container can have sap and bacteria that can be dangerous to our pets.
* Christmas trees can topple over and lead to injury or death if they fall. Secure them!
Decorations-lovely, shiny and bright the decorations draw attention from all of us and our pets are no exception. Be careful as those shiny objects can lead to trouble.
* Tinsel can get stuck and cause blockages in the intestines that may require surgery
* Small ornaments post a choking hazard
* Ornament hooks can get stuck in paws, tongues and lips
* Broken ornaments can cut feet, mouths and intestinal tracks if swallowed
Candles-they smell lovely but can lead to problems. Flames can burn and if tipped over they can cause fires. Hot wax can burn if dripped on skin and fur.
* Use caution and keep them out of reach of your pets.
Batteries-always a must at the holiday season to power our toys and gadgets
* Batteries contain corrosives and if swallowed or chewed the released corrosive can cause mouth ulcerations and intestinal problems.
Wires-light the trees and window frames but keep the wires away from your pets
Pets can be electrocuted if they chew on live wires.
Keep the number of your veterinarian and the local emergency veterinarian's numbers close over the holidays. The local emergency veterinarian is Mountain View Animal Emergency that is located at 18501 Maugans Avenue in Hagerstown, MD. They can be reached at 301-733-7339. You can also call the ASPCA's Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. There is a consultation fee of $65.00. A credit card will be required.

The Humane Society of Washington County is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for animals by sheltering those at risk and providing educational programs that strive to deepen the community's commitment to humane values.