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* * * Christmas Pet Safety Tips * * *

Christmas is a time of joyous festivities. In order to have a merry time during this holiday season and avoid 911 emergency calls and visits to the veterinarian’s, take proper precautions to ensure the safety of your pets. Below are recommendations for a safe, hazard free holiday season:

  1. Keep dangerous foods (i.e. chocolate, raisins, grapes, small meat bones that can splinter, such as chicken, turkey, and fish bones) and beverages with alcohol (Alcohol is very toxic to your pets.) out of the reach of your pets, and do not give sweets to your pets. Xylitol, a common sweetner, is extremely dangerous to dogs. It is known to cause seizures and at times sudden death in dogs. Cats, fortunately, are not adversely affected by Xylitol. (855-764-7661 is a 24/7 Pet Poison Hotline. Website Animal Poison Control Center)

  2. Make sure garbage is sealed and out of your pets reach. Food scraps, bones, and fat trimmings are very enticing to pets and could cause them to fall ill.

  3. Keep toxic holiday plants, such as Mistletoe, Holly, Amaryllis, Lilies, and Poinsettias, out of the house or out of the reach of your pets. If ingested, they can cause mild to severe digestive distress and even cause death.

  4. Keep tobacco products away from pets. Ingested tobacco can be fatal to pets. Empty ash trays often.

  5. Secure the Christmas tree, so it doesn’t not topple over and injure your pets when they try to climb it and catch the Angel.

  6. Keep holiday ornaments, such as tinsel, ribbons, and other string decorations, out of your house. They are a serious digestive hazard for your pets.

  7. Avoid using candles, a number one fire Ha

zard during the holiday season. It just takes an instant for a house fire to ignite. Curious dogs and cats can sniff and tip lit candles. If you must have candles, pick ones with LED lights instead of a real, dangerous flame.

  1. Keep electric cords for Christmas decorations secured and hidden, so that your pets do not have an opportunity to chew on the cords, which may shock or electrocute them.

  2. Place foil over the water basin of the Christmas tree so that pets do not get tempted to drink the water. Bacteria and tree preservation chemicals in the water are harmful to pets.

  3. Prepare a quiet room scented with lavender oil and relaxation music for pets not used to guests during holiday parties and for puppies and kittens. This will help ensure that your pets do not get anxious and are not under the feet of your numerous guests.

  4. Choose safe toys as gifts for your pet. Small toys pose a danger of being chewed and ingested.

  5. Keep an eye on pets so that they do not sneak out of the house during holiday parties. For pets that are prone to running out, it is best to prepare a room for them when expecting many guests. It is helpful if the pets are micro-chipped in case they decide to chase Santa down the street.

Be safe! Happy Holidays!

Contributed by Tatiana Hursky



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