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Keeping Pets Safe During The Holidays

An animated image of a holiday scene, complete with Christmas Tree, Menorah, Dreidel, wreath, holiday candles, and lights. There are cats and dogs all enjoying the fireplace, which has a flame and stockings hanging from the mantel.
Keeping Pets Safe During The Holidays

Like children, cats and dogs can get into things they shouldn’t. Taking a proactive approach by eliminating temptation is the first step in ensuring pet safety at holiday time. Here are some tips:

Pets And Christmas trees

Cats love trees. Cats climb trees. Cats knock over trees. Some dogs think drinking the tree water is fun. Perhaps having a real tree may not be the best choice. With an artificial tree, pets may still be curious but kitty will most likely not try to claw his way to the top and pup won’t be ingesting stale water filled with pine needles!

Ixnay The Tinsel

If ingested, tinsel can wreak havoc for cats and dogs. Depending on how much is eaten, tinsel can cause severe (and expensive) problems like intestinal blockage. Ingesting a small amount may only lead to an interesting bowel movement, but who the heck wants to clean that up?

Be Sure Wires Are Secure

Wires from decorative lights can be irresistible to a curious cat or dog. If the wires cannot be hidden, there is a trick to discourage chewing – add a pinch of cayenne pepper along the wires (use some oil to help it stick). One taste is all it takes to stop the gnawing.

Keep Menorahs And Other Candles Out Of Your Pet’s Reach

Candlelight is both beautiful and festive, for sure. Unfortunately, curious cats and dogs getting a bit too close can suffer burns to paws, noses, and whiskers. If your pets are particularly active, there’s also the chance of knocking over lit candles. Either place lit candles in a spot where fur babies can’t get to them or consider opting for an electric version.

Toxic Foods

Keep your pets away from chocolate, onions, raisins, grapes, caffeine, and alcohol. Also be aware that many commercial baked goods contain xylitol, which is extremely toxic to dogs, as is uncooked rising bread dough. If your feast includes turkey, please do not share the skin with your pets. This fatty food can cause pancreatitis in some animals.

Some Plants Are Toxic, Too

This is important to know whether you are giving or receiving plants. Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias are generally not toxic, however, holly and mistletoe can be. The ASPCA offers comprehensive lists of toxic and non-toxic plants. If you suspect your pet has ingested a toxic plant, please call the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at 1.888.426.4435.

Wishing you and your fur babies a safe, happy, fun, drama-free holiday season!

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