Household Hazards

OTHER HOUSEHOLD HAZARDS HOLIDAY HAZARDS
While trick or treating is fun for children, it can be hazardous to pets. Halloween treats such as chocolate or candy sweetened with xylitol can make a harmful snack. Certain Halloween and Ch r i s tma s d e c o r a t i o n s (especially tinsel, ribbons and ornaments) also pose a hazard to pets, so make sure nothing is left on the floor or on tables within reach. String-like items can damage your pet’s intestine and could prove fatal if not surgically removed. While poinsettia is not deadly as popular legend would have it, it could still cause an upset stomach if consumed. Holly and mistletoe are especially dangerous plants. Christmas tree water treated with preservatives (including fertilizers) can also cause an upset stomach. Water that is allowed to stagnate in tree stands contains bacteria that, if ingested, could lead to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

A SPECIAL NOTE OF CAUTION TO BIRD-OWNERS Just like dogs and cats, most hazards listed here apply to your pet bird, particularly if it is allowed to roam freely outside of its cage. In addition, birds have unique respiratory tracts that are especially vulnerable to inhaled particles and fumes from aerosol products, tobacco products, certain glues, paints, and air fresheners. Birds should never be allowed in areas where such products are being used. As a rule, birds should never be kept in kitchens because cooking fumes, smoke and odors can present a hazard. Don’t wait! Time is critical for successfully treating accidental poisoning. Pick up the phone and call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435; a consultation fee may apply). Be prepared to state your pet’s breed, age, weight and any symptoms. Keep the product container or plant sample with you to assist in identification so the appropriate treatment recommendations can be made.

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR PET IS POISONED For more information about pet poisons, visit the ASPCA Poison Control Center www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/ Cover photo of lab and lights by Paulette Braun Don’t forget that holidays and visitors can pose a special challenge to your pets. Discourage well-meaning guests from spoiling pets with extra treats and scraps from the dinner table. Fatty, rich or spicy foods can cause vomiting and diarrhea and lead to inflammation of the pancreas. Poultry or other soft bones can splinter and damage your pet’s mouth or esophagus. Small items that fall on the floor can be easily swallowed by a curious cat or dog. Such items include coins, buttons, small children’s toys, medicine bottles, jewelry, nails, and screws. The result may be damage to your pet’s digestive tract and the ne ed for sur g i c a l removal of the object. While electrical cords are especially tempting to puppies who like to c h ew o n a lmo s t anything, even an adult dog or cat could find them of interest; burns or electrocution could result from chewing on live cords. Prevent this by using cord covers and blocking access to wires. Printed in the USA

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