Holiday hazards and your pets


North County Humane Society & SPCA warns some holiday traditions can be harmful to your pet

The North County Humane Society & SPCA (NCHS) wants to make sure your holiday is safe and happy. Follow these tips to help your pets stay healthy during the holiday season.
  • If you have a live Christmas tree, cover the water stand. The mixture of pine sap and water can be a lethal combination to pets.
  • Pick up any ornament hooks, tinsel, pine needles or other decorations from the floor. Your pet could ingest them causing serious internal damage.
  • Place nonbreakable ornaments on the bottom half of your Christmas tree.
  • Some food can be potentially dangerous for pets including, raw or undercooked turkey or chicken - salmonella. Macadamia nuts can cause weakness and tremors. Xylitol - a sugar-substitute used in sugar-free candies, gums and baked goods can cause low blood sugar and liver damage in dogs. Raisins and grapes can cause kidney failure. Onions and garlic can cause anemia. Avocado can cause heart failure in birds. Sage can cause gastrointestinal problems and depression of the nervous system.
  • Holiday plants can be dangerous for your pet including, poinsettias and mistletoe berries - can cause vomiting and gastrointestinal pain.
  • Secure Christmas trees or other large decorations to a wall
  • Keep indoor holiday lights high above the floor so your pets cannot reach them.
  • Keep birds in their cage if you are lighting candles, they may be attracted to the light and get dangerously close to the fire.
  • Sometime during the holiday bustle a door gets left open, make sure your cat is wearing an ID tag and your dog is wearing his license. Proper identification will help if your pet becomes lost.

If your pet ingests poison call your vet immediately or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control 24-Hour Hotline at (888) 426-4435.