Holiday Safety! Xylitol, Salt Dough, Poinsettias, oh my?
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! As you’re celebrating, are you aware of what you can do to keep your pets safe and happy, along with all the other family members?
Here’s a list of some great overview articles on important winter and holiday safety for pets!
- Winter Holiday Pet Poisons… Watch that snowglobe! (Pet Poison Helpline)
- 7 Things You Can Do To Make the Holidays Safer For Your Pet(American Veterinary Medical Association)
- Cold Weather Safety (American Veterinary Medical Association)
Additionally, here are some specific things we’d like to feature for you this year in our efforts to keep your pets safe and healthy!
There has been an increase in products that use the artificial sweetener xylitol, which can be incredibly toxic to dogs. (and real bad for cats too!) Even tiny amounts can cause poisoning, especially in small dogs. For something like sugar-free gums, depending on the xylitol content of the particular product, we are talking 3-4 pieces of gum in a small or medium sized dog! More peanut butters and diet foods are being made with this, so make sure to check the label before you “treat” your pets to any special holiday snacks!
This link has a large list of xylitol containing products!
Salt Dough Toxicity
Salt dough toxicity has also been in the news recently, and while this is an infrequently reported home poisoning risk, salt dough Christmas ornaments are certainly popular and prevalent! The amount of salt in these homemade doughs can cause severe toxicity, neurologic issues, and even death in some cases. If your dog or cat is an “unpicky” eater, and eats things he or she shouldn’t, make sure that these decorations are kept up high!
Poinsettias – good news!
This falls in the category of good news! Poinsettias are one of the most commonly cited holiday hazards, and while your pets certainly shouldn’t go around chomping on them, the good news is that they are much less dangerous than other things on our watch list. Chewing a poinsettia is likely to result in some mouth and stomach irritation, but usually doesn’t cause lasting damage for your pet. All the same, it’s best to avoid letting your pets chew on these living decorations.
All of us here at Elkwood Animal Hospital hope you have a very happy and safe holiday season 2015-2016!