Sunday, December 20, 2009

Pet Safety During The Holidays

This time of year can be very exciting yet at the same time very stressful not only for you, but for your pets as well. Here are some tips for pet owners to help keep their pets safe during the holiday season.

  • If you plan on having a Christmas tree in your home there are a few things that you should remember. Tinsel should be avoided because your pet may think that it is a toy to play with and they may accidentally swallow and choke on the tiny strings. In addition, do not decorate your tree with popcorn or other food items, and remove all edible gifts from under the tree.
  • Hang small and breakable ornaments out of your pet's reach.
  • Do not place chemicals in your tree's water. It may keep your tree fresh longer, but it can prove very harmful to your pets. Always make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water in his/her own dish at all times.
  • Electric window displays and lights are very inviting, not only to you and your neighborhood, but to your curious pets as well. Make sure all of your electrical connections and outlets are secured and concealed. Tape electrical cords to the walls or floors to ensure that your pet will not chew on them.
  • Never hang edible treats, such as stockings filled with chocolates or other candies, in dangerous places like near a fireplace or on a Christmas tree.
  • Holiday plants, such as poinsettias, amaryllis, mistletoe, and holly, may add beauty to your home but they are very poisonous to your pets. If these plants are ingested, they may cause vomiting, diarrhea, or even more serious problems.
  • Before your family celebrations, make sure that your pets have a safe, quiet area where they can rest. It is best to keep your pet locked up safely in a bedroom where they can escape from all the noise and festivities. If your pet enjoys having company come over, just make sure they do not become too overwhelmed.
  • After you have had your fill of holiday turkey, ham, chicken or roast beef, make sure you throw those bones away. Do not give them to your pet. You might think that you are giving them a treat, but you may be threatening their health. Cooked bones can splinter easily and cause damage to your pet's throat and intestines.
  • You should avoid feeding your pet chocolate, candy and cookies which can be toxic to their health. Feeding your pet these products can result in extreme vomiting and can make your pet very sick. If you want to give your pet a special treat then try changing the way you feed them their regular pet food. Adding water or broth to dry food or mixing in canned food makes a great treat and is much healthier for your pet. Do not feed your pet high-fat foods such as gravy and dressing, which can cause serious stomach upsets. You should make sure that your guests know not to feed your pet these things as well.
  • After your gifts are opened, quickly dispose of all plastic wrappings, ribbons, and bows that can be easily swallowed by curious pets.
  • Perhaps most importantly, PLEASE make sure that all of your pets have proper ID tags on at all times. In all the activity and confusion there is always the danger of your pet getting out. If your pet were to become lost, you would have a much greater chance of finding them if they have identification.
These are just a few guidelines to keep your pet safe and happy during the holidays.

Have a safe and fun holiday, and don't forget to give your "babies" a present, too!

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