Monday, December 10th, 2012...5:23 pm

Keeping your pet safe during the holidays

Untitled by Î’ethan

Pets today are like family and they will be celebrating the holidays this December with their masters. While you are having special foods, you might want to treat your pet to something special. Before you share your holiday food, check the ASPCA’s list of food to see if it is safe to feed to your pet. (see here) For example, I would never share my guacamole with my pets. Guacamole contains too many ingredients that are toxic to pets, like onions, avocados and garlic. You don’t want to spoil your and your pet’s holiday spending it in the veterinarian’s hospital.

Consider making some special food this holiday for your pet. You can use your special Christmas or  Hanukkah cutters to make your pet feel like it is celebrating. Or get dog bone cookie cutter shapes if your pet is more traditional. An easy recipe for these cookies is just baby food and whole wheat flour or wheat germ  or use 2 cups wheat germ with 3 (2.5oz jars) strained meat baby food (be sure there is no onion or garlic in the baby food) to about 1 tbsp water (add more if needed ). Make about 2 dozen  balls  and put on baking sheet. Dip fork in water and flatten the balls slightly. Bake about 25 min. in preheatened 350 F or 175 C oven. This will be yummy for both your dogs and cats. (see here)  Your pet might not be able to eat your holiday foods, but when you make your pet cookies, you know what ingredients are being used and how clean they are, so you can sample your pet’s cookies.

You’ve made your pets some delicious cookies and you are decorating your house for Christmas and Hanukkah and the house or apartment looks festive indoors and out. But do remember that a lot of the decorations may not be good for your pet. Your pet might see new pretty things in his or her environment and want to chew or play with them, but a lot of the decorations might be toxic to the pet. For example, ribbons, wrapping paper, ornaments, tinsel, extension cords and gifts may be appealing to your pet but “eating tinsel or other string-like items such as ribbon (often called linear foreign bodies) can cause serious damage to the intestine.  If your pet chews on the electric light cords indoors or out, they could get an electrical shock. Read more for other holiday hazards for your pet.

You can decorate your house with all the poinsettias you like. Contrary to what you may have heard, poinsettias are not considered toxic to pets. Poinsettias received bad publicity in the past. They do contain a milky sap that can irritate the mouth; but if signs develop they are usually mild.

Keeping your pet’s safety in mind even when you are busy celebrating will make it a wonderful holiday for all to enjoy.

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