A newsletter issued by the ASPCA poison control this month highlights the following seasonal hazards potentially faced by household pets.

1)Wrapped Presents-Gifts containing food item, especially chocolates or other treats, need to be kept securely out of the reach of pets, otherwise they will smell the foo, rip open the gift and consume the contents. Ribbons and strings pose a particular hazard to cats who often will ingest these with serious consequences.

2)Snow Globes- Some contain ethylene Glycol (antifreeze) which is highly toxic should the snow globe be broken or otherwise develop a leak. Keep them out of reach of pets.

3)Holiday Food- Keep pets away from food preparation areas or or where food will be left out. They may become very devious in their attempt to reach the food, and may gorge themselves and get very sick. Special care with boned meats, chocolates, raisins, grapes, bread dough, alcohol and anything sweetened with Xylitol.

4)Medication- Many medications can have serious effects on dogs or cats, both in pill form or topical creams. Of course, medicines should be secured in a medicine cabinet, but guests to the house may have dangerous medicines in in suitcases or handbags, which pets can readily break into and ingest. So do not allow there to be left within pets reach. Also, medical marijuana; especially in brownies-be sure that dogs can’t find that.

5)Salt- Ice melt, home-made play dough and salt-dough ornaments make tempting treats, but their ingestion can cause life-threatening salt imbalances. Keep them away from pets, band use pet safe ice melt.

If you have any concerns about possible exposure to poisonous substances or foods, be sure to call your veterinarian, or, if out of hours, call poison control. The ASPCA Poison control hot line number is 888-426-4435

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