In a normal year, the holidays are a time for family and friends, a festive good mood – and the normal dangers for pets. They overeat, eat poisonous plants, and try to eat a ribbon or two. In this most unusual year, add Covid-19 and parent burnout. In short, the 2020 holidays should be a showcase for taking precautionary measures.
Covid-19 for cats and dogs
Although the virus is most dangerous to other people, it can also affect animals. Lorraine Corriveau, DVM, and a professor at Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine, stated in a college announcement that while there is limited information about how coronavirus can be transmitted from pets to individuals, there is evidence that humans carry the virus to animals can transfer. “It appears that it can spread from humans to animals in certain situations,” said Dr. Corriveau. “Therefore, people with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 should avoid contact with animals, including pets, livestock and wildlife.” It is the virus that leads to Covid-19.
As if the stress of the past 10 months wasn’t enough, let’s add vacation stress. In the pre-Before Covid era, animals could get into trouble in a variety of ways – their owners taking coats at the door, preparing a roast dinner, and playing after dinner. For a smart pet, a distraction is all it takes to steal a garlicky appetizer or to run for the glassy baby’s first Christmas decorations hanging on the Christmas tree within reach of his paw.
In an article on Covid-19 panic, Elissa Epel, PhD who studies stress, spoke about Covid-19 and her work at the University of California at San Francisco. “While some fears help us cope, extreme fears can turn into a coronavirus panic. When we are in a state of panic … we stress our children, we are more likely to make mistakes and make irrational decisions and behaviors . ”
While a little forbearance can be okay for a human, it can be trouble for a dog. The FDA stated that allowing too much too quickly could be a problem, especially for pets receiving gifts to eat at Christmas. “Unchewed treats for pets can get stuck in the windpipe (windpipe) or gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach and intestines).” Some of the warning symptoms are obvious. The FDA listed “drooling, choking, or vomiting” and suggested calling a veterinarian immediately.
Some food hazards can be harder to spot. “If a bone or chew toy gets stuck in your dog’s stomach or intestines, the symptoms may not be instant,” the agency said. In this case, owners should look for vomiting, diarrhea, inactivity or loss of appetite. These symptoms can appear days later, but it’s still important to contact a veterinarian.
Deck the halls (just keep it out of reach)
Vacationers bring home all kinds of beautiful gifts that are not edible. The FDA selected salt dough decorations and decorative plants. According to the FDA, the amount of salt in salt dough ornaments could be fatal to pets. The agency has suggested keeping salt dough ornaments out of reach and explaining to children that the ornaments are for decoration only and should never be given to pets.
In fact, many ornaments can pose a risk to pets. Dogs should be prevented from playing with glass ornaments that can break. Glass spheres are of particular concern because they look like toys but can break into many sharp pieces.
Holiday plants are another problem. The big worry is poinsettias, festive red-leaved plants. Mistletoe and holly berries are also potential hazards. Pet owners should keep this festive green away from curious animals. If a leaf or two is chewed, see a veterinarian or ASPCA poison control number (888) 426-4435 for signs of vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy.
Even the Christmas tree can be a risk magnet, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Pets can drink the water in a living tree population, so people should not add anything to the water. If their pet is nearby, owners should keep pets from drinking it.
The tree itself can be dangerous and a great one. Pets, especially kittens, might see this indoor tree as a chance to practice their climbing skills. The American Veterinary Medical Association suggests attaching the tree to a door frame or ceiling with a fishing line.
Human food can pose a risk to furry friends. Even if a bit of oily turkey skin seems like a treat, it isn’t. The FDA warned, “In addition to causing an upset stomach, rich foods can cause a potentially life-threatening and painful disease called pancreatitis.”
Even food that is no longer on the table can be a risk. Beware of curious dogs that get caught in the trash and junk.
Aside from meat and leftovers, other foods like chocolate, artificial sweeteners, and alcohol can cause serious problems. In fact, researchers found that Christmas and Easter had the highest rates of veterinary visits because dogs eat chocolate. It is probably best for animal lovers to make special treats for them. After all, few people would be happy with milk bones and catnip; Pets are no different. Getting the right gift is important.
The ASPCA also warns against cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as garlic and onions, all of which are toxic to animals. Garlic and onion, both whole and powdered, belong to the Allium family. According to the ASPCA, “Cats are particularly sensitive to these spices. Garlic and onions can damage red blood cells and lead to anemia. ”
The star on the tree
Toxic greens, unhealthy table trash, well-intentioned but inappropriate hosiery – add them on Christmas morning. Wrapping paper, string, and tinsel can cause real problems. Like all decorations, they are designed to be outside the body rather than inside the body. But that won’t stop some pets, especially cats, from snacking on them. According to the FDA, while ribbon and tinsel can “… be irresistible because they look like easy-to-catch, sparkling, shaky prey … but can cause serious gastrointestinal damage.” The FDA suggests keeping ribbons and string after opening a gift.
Dealing with an accident
Of course, accidents happen. The turkey stays on the kitchen counter, the ribbon slides under a chair, plants are removed from a table to make space for glasses and cookies.
This year the FDA put together a special video because “We at the FDA also consider our furry friends important family members.”
So what are the risks for Fluffy and Fido?
If your pet manages to eat something poisonous, make sure to keep calm. While office vets may not be open on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, emergency veterinary clinics are usually open. It might be worth having phone numbers on hand just in case. In addition to veterinarians, the ASPCA operates a 24-hour poison control line (although a fee is charged). There are also online chat sites that can help you decide the right course of action for your pet.