Holiday Hazards

holiday_hazardsIn the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, amid decorating, wrapping, baking and celebrating; keeping an eye on all the two legged and 4 legged kids is quite a task. When you least expect it, you may find that your usually well-behaved Havanese has suddenly become a snoop, thief, glutton, shredder and destroyer extraordinaire. What happened? The holidays present many challenges and stresses for everyone, including your Havanese. You may be much busier than usual and regular routines may have gone by the wayside; a normally quiet house may be filled with guests. The furniture has been re-arranged; there’s a tree in the corner and there are parcels galore begging to be played with (after all they are on the floor where the toys usually are.) A plethora of intriguing smells waft on the air. Temptation is everywhere and can be overwhelming even for the most well behaved pet.

Don't forget that your Havanese that loves to climb on the back of the sofa or sun himself on the kitchen table, can and will easily do the same to help himself to those tempting treats and holiday decor you thought were out of his reach. Havanese are also very intelligent and creative and will easily find ways to get to places you never thought possible. There are several items around the house at this time of year that can be hazardous to your pet's health.

Poinsettias, while not nearly as dangerous as once believed, are only mildly toxic, but the sap can cause irritation of the skin, eyes and mucus membranes. If ingested, larger quantities can cause nausea and vomiting. Holly and mistletoe may cause more severe gastro-intestinal symptoms, as well as cardiovascular collapse. Decorations such as scented pine cones, preserved greens, dried arrangements and wax fruits have usually been treated with potentially toxic chemicals and can be dangerous to play with or nibble on. Swags, garlands and tasseled runners tempt and tease as they dangle, just begging to be tugged on, which risks pulling down heavy ornaments, breakables or lit candles which can all be a danger not to mention a mess to clean up. On the tables and counters, pay attention to candy, nuts, chocolate and other sweets or snacks. Breakable ornaments, tinsel and electric cords are some of the major holiday hazards around the Christmas tree along with tipping or pulling the tree over. If you have a live tree, be extra vigilant so your Havanese does not drink the treated water nor view the tree as a convenient indoor potty. Havanese love paper and will be delighted to unwrap and investigate each and every gift under the tree, but what is inside can be potentially harmful i.e.) Plastic wrap, batteries, small parts that can be ingested, or choked on, toxic chocolate, etc.

Try to keep the routine as similar as possible. Don’t forget walks and potty outings. Havanese love to be part of the action. Be sure to introduce your Havanese to all your guests but do allow your pet to escape to a safe spot if things become overwhelming. Your Havanese will delight in having a few gifts of their own to open and play with. A little forethought and planning will ensure you are celebrating your holidays at home with your family and not at the Vet Clinic with a sick or injured pet.

Happy Holidays