‘Tis the Season

 

Homemade decorations are especially popular at Christmastime which is why pet owners need to be aware of the dangers these items may pose.

Homemade decorations are especially popular at Christmastime which is why pet owners need to be aware of the dangers these items may pose.

Welcome to the Christmas season and all the joys (and hazards) it brings! At a time when many who are craft savvy (and those who really, really want to be) are looking for ideas and how-to information for a plethora of holiday crafts, one has only to sign into Pintrest to see that the list of craft ideas for the Christmas season is very close to endless. From DIY snow globes to Christmas ornaments for the kids to make to door garnishments, there are quite literally thousands of projects to choose from. One of the things that the instructions for most of these projects tend to overlook is the potential danger the supplies and finished product may pose to our furry friends.

According to American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), there are several things we should all be aware of when home crafting, whether during the holidays or throughout the year. For example, those wonderfully handcrafted salt dough ornaments that children often bring home from school can be hazardous as they can be easily mistaken by our pets as treats. When you look at the simple ingredients of flour, water, and salt, you might ask yourself how something so seemingly innocuous could ever be harmful to our pets. The problem is the amount of salt in these baked ornaments which can potentially cause the pet to develop dangerously high levels of sodium in their blood. This elevated sodium level can lead to seizures and, if left untreated, can cause death. It is advised to keep these ornaments in areas where pets cannot reach them.

One helpful tip when home crafting is to look at packaging labels. Special seals regarding an item’s toxicity can be found on many product labels and packaging for the craft supplies themselves. The Art and Creative Materials Institute (ACMI) has a seal on many products such as glitter, paint, and chalk to let the consumer know at a glance if it is safe. Seals that read “AP” (Approved Product) can be found on products that are non-toxic while seals reading “CL” (Cautionary Labeling) are on items that are considered toxic. Looking for a seal but cannot find one? The ACMI have simplified this process with a searchable Certified Products List. If the contents of a package in the “CL” classification are ingested, either your veterinarian or poison control center should be contacted immediately.