Even though it is barely fall, stores in Broken Arrow and the Tulsa Area are already selling Halloween and other holiday decorations. While this is nothing new, I do feel the need to wear a scarf and drink hot cider. While I love decorating as much as the next person (ok…..definitely more…), there are some pet hazards that come with the season. While this could seem like a horror story, I am hoping that it will be more of a guide to keep your pets safe.
Halloween means one thing – candy. Oh, and costumes. So it means two things. Most people know that chocolate is toxic for pets, but other Halloween treats can be harmful as well. Anything with Xylitol (fake sweetener) is toxic, and it can be found in something as simple as some brands of peanut butter. Grapes and raisins, often found in “bowls of eyes” can cause kidney damage. But let’s not forget that costumes and props meant for scaring humans could be scary for pets too. And depending on how your pet reacts when scared, they may want to hide or defend themselves.
Then comes Thanksgiving. I always like to give my pets a special meal- if I get one, they should too! As a veterinarian, I know that giving my pet turkey skin, gravy, stuffing, and pie could not only cause pancreatitis (read: vomiting and diarrhea), but has very little nutritive value for them. Bones can puncture the stomach or intestines; or if fed in a large amount could turn poop into a cement-like consistency in the colon. And no one wants that!
Christmas is my favorite! Most people remember that Poinsettias and Lilies are toxic….pointsettias are, but it’s usually pretty mild. Lilies can be very toxic- even drinking the water can make a cat sick or cause kidney failure. My other big concern lies in decorations- trees and gifts seem nice but I have seen a lot of issues from them. My own personal kitten climbed our pre-lit artificial tree, was tangled in the lights, and died. A lot of cats like to eat tinsel and ribbon, which can cause intestinal issues that require surgery. My biggest tip is that if you have a new kitten, keep them in a room away from gifts and trees when you aren’t home. Better safe than sorry!
If you have any questions, call and our veterinarian will help you figure out how to celebrate the holidays safely!