The holidays are right around the corner, and we’re all itching to try some new decorations, put up the old favorites, and deck the halls with… Well, you get the idea. Use a few of these tips to get started and keep it pet-friendly:
Before you start your next great holiday craft masterpiece, take a look at the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) list of products and chemicals to avoid. Knowing what to shop for can help you find alternatives to materials that might be dangerous to your pets.
Oh the joy on the face of a toddler bringing home their first salt-dough ornament! Before you let short people determine the new hanging position of their masterpiece on the tree, remember that these ornaments smell and taste just like a salty treat to your dogs. In addition to potential salt overdose (caller hypernatremia), the paints and other materials used on these ornaments can be fatal to your pets. So hang ’em in the proudest place of all, WAAAAY up near the star and out of reach. If your pet does eat salt dough, be sure to contact your veterinarian or the APCC right away.
Look for the Art and Creative Materials Institute (ACMI) seal on art products like paint, glitter, colored pencils, chalk, inks and crayons. Approved Products (“AP”) signify that the materials are non-toxic, while Cautionary Labeling (“CL”) implies that the product could be poisonous or dangerous. If you pet ingests anything that is marked “CL”, be sure to contact your veterinarian or the APCC immediately.
We’ve all heard that curiosity killed the cat… and the dog… New items and decorations can encourage a curious pet to “taste” or eat things they shouldn’t, such as popsicle sticks, pom poms, sand, pencils, and buttons. Ingestion of irritation objects that are too large or too sharp to pass through the digestive tract may have to be removed surgically. Put away items when you are done working and keep crafts out of reach of pets or in a storage container.
If you LOVE glitter (or it’s just everywhere from opening so many holiday cards from your glitter loving friends) – no worries! Most glitter is relatively safe for pets (and creates festive feces).
If you are worried that your pet has eaten a dangerous ingredient or item, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888)-426-4435 immediately. Happy holidays — and happy crafting!