In general, try to keep your pet's eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. And be sure to steer them clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations:
O Christmas Tree. Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn't tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water - which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset - from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria and your pets could end up with nausea or diarrhea should they drink any.
Tinsel-less Town. Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching "string" because it's easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. Don't bring tinsel into your home!
No Feasting for Furries. Do not feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol. Keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.
Toy Joy. Looking to stuff your pets' stockings? Choose gifts that are safe.
- Dogs can tear their toys apart and swallow the pieces, which can then become lodged in the esophagus, stomach or intestines. Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, like Kongs, that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats designed to be safely digestible.
- Long, stringy things are a cat's dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that's too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer—and many play sessions together.
Forget the Mistletoe & Holly. When ingested, holly can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic.