The West Virginia Poison Center is cautioning pet owners to think safety first this holiday season when it comes to their furry friends. To that end, there are some tips to consider over the Christmas season.
During the holidays there may be a variety of treats that are not typically available to pets. Officials said to be especially careful of foods that contain grapes or raisin, macadamia nuts or chocolate, especially dark chocolate and baking cocoa. Other items that should not be fed to animals include raw bread dough, sugar free gum or candy that contains xylitol.
Plants can also be poisonous to pets. While poinsettias have a bad reputation, officials with the poison center said they are only mildly toxic. So are Christmas trees. Plants that pet owners should be more cautious with include lilies, holly and mistletoe.
Alcohol affects pets more quickly than it does an adult human. While most people do not give their pets alcohol there are home holiday treats that people may not think about, such as cakes soaked in alcohol, such as rum cake. Pets could also get into presents under the tree, such as bottles of alcohol, cologne or aftershave. There is also a danger of pets getting into the medication of house guests that may be stored in their suitcases or purses.
While most people think of the poison center when treating humans, people should also be aware that the hotline is there to help pets as well. The number is 1-800-222-1222 and is manned 24-hours a day.