Holiday Pet Safety Tips

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Keep your furry family members safe during this holiday season with these five important tips:

1) Timber! Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it does not tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water, which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset, from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.

2) No people food! By now most people are aware of the danger chocolate poses to our pets. But, they can, and will, go to great lengths to get to those yummy treats just lying around during the holidays. Be sure to keep your pets away from the food tables and watch for unattended plates. Also, it is a good idea to secure lids on garbage cans to thwart any “dumpster diving” by your enterprising pets.
Careful with the Cocktails too! If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.

3) Toy Joy! Stuffing a stocking for your precious pet this year? Choose gifts that are safe for your dog or cat. Dogs have been known to tear their toys apart and swallow the pieces, which can then become lodged in the esophagus, stomach or intestines. Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, such as a Kong which can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew toys that are designed to be safely digestible. Long, stringy things are a feline’s dream but the riskiest toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise your kitty with a new ball that is too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy, or an interactive toy for that most important quality play time with you.

4) Decorating the pet safe way! Go Tinsel-free! Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching “toy”, which is so much fun and easy to bat and carry around in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstruction of the digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It is best to brighten your boughs with something more “pet friendly” than tinsel.  It's best to just forget the Mistletoe & Holly, as when ingested, holly can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. Festive artificial plants are a much safer alternative. 

For a “pet safe” holiday glow, don’t leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if knocked over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And, if you leave the room, be sure to put the candle out first! An even safer solution would be to choose to use Flameless Battery-Operated Candles. These pet safe candles come in many shapes, sizes and colors, and some are even scented!
Wires, batteries, and glass or plastic, ornaments are some other potential hazard items that should always be kept out of your pet’s reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth or esophagus as well as being a potential choking/obstruction risk.

Wishing You and Yours a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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