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Top 4 Health Risks for Pets During the Holiday Season

The Holidays are a great time for the entire family. -Pets included. Heck, as many as 15% of ‘fur babies’ are received as gifts during the holidays! Because we hold them so dear, we all want our pets to be the happiest and healthiest they can be… this could mean buying the best food possible, celebrating their birthday, going on long walks, or even making sure they have their own stocking every Christmas.

In fact, according to PetCube, 73 percent of pets have their own stocking, and 92 percent will have a gift waiting for them under the tree. - Those gifts aren't cheap either. 25 percent of owners said they'll spend over $100 on their pet.*

Because our dogs and cats are truly a part of the family, it is important to keep their safety in mind this season. Decorations that might be harmless to us can pose as a health hazard to the pets in our lives.

Below are the top 4 concerns for pets during the holidays. Don’t worry! You can still decorate, cook, and carol to your heart’s desire. Just make sure to keep an eye on your furry friends.

Poinsettia, Mistletoe and Holly

Countless households decorate with festive plants, including mistletoe, holly and/or poinsettias during the holiday season. These accoutrements of the holidays represent everything from new love to deeply held religious beliefs. But though they are pretty to look at, they are highly poisonous to cats and dogs. If your pet ingests any of them, it can cause severe upset stomach and blisters in the mouth, requiring speedy medical care. If you plan on decorating your house with these plants, it’s important to make sure they are out of reach of your pets.

Wrapping Bows

While the site of puppies and kittens chasing around a string, ribbon, or wrapping paper is undeniably adorable, such items can pose health risks if they are ingested. If eaten, the items can lead to serious abdominal blockages and- in extreme cases- will require surgery to be removed. Oftentimes, it’s easy to leave scraps and ribbons lying around. - Especially after a long day of cleaning, cooking, and decorating. But try to keep any and all lose items off the floor to protect your lovable companions.

Christmas Tree

There is perhaps no symbol of Christmas more common (or iconic) than a star-topped tree displayed proudly in the living room. In fact, over 27 million real Christmas Trees were purchased last year, accounting for over 60% of total trees sold. In fact, it’s been over 15 years since more fake trees were sold than real ones. We agree; nothing beats the real thing. But, if you’re a pet owner, be careful when that real tree is in place. Naturally, trees can shed pine needles that are poisonous when eaten. When ingested, the needles can irritate your pets’ intestines, causing them intense discomfort. In order to make sure your pet isn’t eating the pine needles, you can wrap the base of the tree with tin foil or place something that makes noise under your tree to serve as a deterrent. – Or simply make sure to pick up the stray needles whenever you can!

One more thing to keep an eye on is the tree’s water source! While fertilizers and plant growth supplements can help keep your tree healthy all season, they aren’t as useful when it comes to keeping our furry friends that way. Many fertilizers can upset your pets’ stomach and the water often serves as a breeding ground for bacteria. Try to keep the water reservoir covered so isn’t being used as your pets’ second water bowl. – That’s what the toilet is for!

Small Fragile Ornaments or Decorations

Small decorations or ornaments-though pretty- can be easily swallowed by our furry family members, leading to choking and intestinal blockage. All the Christmas movies tell us that ‘the Christmas Spirit is something we carry inside us.’ But they didn’t mean it literally, and they certainly weren’t talking about ornaments! Also, if these fragile ornaments break, the glass can injure your pets’ mouth, paws and digestive tracts. Be sure to keep these all ornaments out of reach and try to dispose of broken ornaments as quickly as possible.

By becoming a Pet Wants franchisee you can spread awareness of pet health in your area. Not only will you be selling the Pet Wants products, you will also be serving as a trusted resource for pet owners.