Holiday Safety Tips for Pets

Other Hazardous Items Used During Winter

During the cold season, many people "winterize" there home with the following common items. While they may make the home feel warm, exposure to your pet can result in major illness, or even death.

Antifreeze: Very small amounts of antifreeze can be lethal to your pet. Thoroughly clean up any spills, store antifreeze in tightly closed containers, and place in a secured cabinet.

Liquid potpourris: These are popular household fragrances commonly used during the holiday season. Pets are exposed to liquid potpourri by direct ingestion, rubbing against leaky bottles or simmer pots, or spilling the container on them. Liquid potpourris can result in severe oral, dermal and ocular damage.  

Rat and mouse killers: The type of bait you use can alter your pet's symptoms. If your dog does consume rat or mouse poison, first identify the active ingredient. Symptoms can range from diarrhea and vomiting to severe internal bleeding or death. When using rat and mouse bait, place the product in areas that are inaccessible to your animal. Make sure to clean up any rodents right away so your pet doesn't try to investigate them.

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Keep all prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs out of you pet's reach, preferably in closed cabinets. Pain killers, cold medicines, anti-cancer drugs, antidepressants, vitamins and diet pills are common examples of human medication that could be potentially lethal, even in small dosages. "One regular-strength ibuprofen tablet (200mg) can cause stomach ulcers in a 10-pound dog," says Moore. Ask holiday guests to store their medications safely so Fido doesn't eat their prescriptions.

Moore reminds pet owners, "During the holidays, many veterinary clinics have limited office hours. In some cases, owners try to medicate their animals without their veterinarian's advice." She adds, "Never give your animal any medications unless under the directions of veterinarian. Many medications that are used safely in humans may be deadly when used inappropriately with pets. For example, less than one regular strength acetaminophen tablet (325mg) can be very life threatening to a 7-pound pet. "

If your furry friend does consume something hazardous to their health, contact your veterinarian. Make sure to have the following information ready for your vet: Know the amount consumed, what was eaten and how long ago it was consumed.

If your vet is closed, call the nearest 24-hour emergency veterinarian. You can also call Animal Poison Control for assistance or with questions: (888) 426-4235.

Note: There is a charge for each call. They will assign you a case number. Keep this number handy to give your veterinarian so they can contact them if needed at no additional charge.
You can find this information on the ASPCA website too.

If you take extra steps to keep food, decorations and other household items out of Fido's reach, you'll spend more time with your family and friends and less time at the vet. 

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About the Author

Fara Rosenzweig

Fara Rosenzweig is the Lifestyle Editor for She is a fitness fanatic, yogi and runner who loves to try new activities. Follow Fara on Google+ or twitter @FJRose.
Fara Rosenzweig is the Lifestyle Editor for She is a fitness fanatic, yogi and runner who loves to try new activities. Follow Fara on Google+ or twitter @FJRose.

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