Our final post in the Holiday Safety Tips series has to do with poisons that might be found in your guests' bags or coat pockets.
Xylitol: If you're having a New Year's party and your dog finds their way into a purse or coat with chewing gum, candy, or breath mints that contain xylitol, just 1 or 2 pieces could be extremely dangerous.
Xylitol causes a rapid drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which can result in vomiting, loss of coordination, tremors, collapse, seizures, liver failure, coma, and even death.
Medications and Pain Relievers: Another dangerous item that guests might bring is medications. Unless they're staying overnight, they may not have prescription medications along (which can cause a whole host of problems), but it's more likely they'll have pain relievers like Advil, Aleve, Tylenol, or Aspirin.
Pets may find bottles and chew through them, or pills may get dropped on the floor. Almost all pain relievers for humans are dangerous to pets.
Tylenol (Acetaminophen) can cause severe damage to the liver and red blood cells, and cats are up to 10 times more susceptible to its effects than dogs.
Symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, difficult or rapid breathing, paw or facial swelling, discolored gums, collapse, or even death.
Advil, Motrin, and some types of Midol (Ibuprofen) is toxic for both dogs and cats. It causes damage to the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys. Symptoms include nausea, stomach ulcers, blood in vomit or feces, increased thirst, decreased appetite, seizures, coma, or death.
Aspirin is another NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory) like Ibuprofen, and can cause similar damage to the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, and liver.
Aleve and some types of Midol (Naproxen) should never be given to dogs or cats. Just one tablet can cause very serious symptoms like severe ulcers, acute kidney failure, bloody vomiting and stools, anemia, coma and death.
If you suspect your pet has eaten medications or something containing xylitol, call a vet or Pet Poison Hotline immediately.
Do not induce vomiting unless you're instructed to do so.
Thank you for following along with our TJ's Holiday Safety Tips for Pets series! We hope it's given you some new things to think about, to help keep your pets safe around the holidays!