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Holiday Pet Safety

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Just as for people, the holidays can also be stressful for animals. Not only are they wrought with the anticipation of what Santa is bringing them, but they are also stressed by the endless activity that’s going on. It might be easy to overlook your pets, as making sure your mother-in-law is happy is more important than your poodle’s contentment, but pets still need to be kept safe. Keep the following tips in mind to make sure the holidays stay happy for those with two legs and those with four.

Keep bones away: Turkey, chicken, and even ham can all have bones – bones your dog would love to get his paws on. Despite these desires, meat bones can be a choking hazard for animals, a hazard that can make them sick and, in some instances, be fatal. For this reason, it’s important to keep bones away from your pets. If you feed them table scraps, make sure they are boneless and keep the trash in a secure area where Fido can’t sneak his way in.

Keep plants far from pets: Mistletoe, poinsettias, and Christmas trees all do their part to add a little essence to the holiday, but when consumed by pets they can add heartache as well. Certain plants, particularly poinsettias and mistletoe, are poisonous to animals and should be kept as far away as possible. Eating out of a planter may lead your dog to think he’s sampling the salad bar, but he’s really eating something that is anything but nutritious.

Don’t put things in the Christmas tree water that you don’t want your pets consuming: Pets can’t help it: they see water, they have to drink it. This includes the water underneath the Christmas tree. Some people may leave Christmas tree water alone, but others fill it with chemicals that can sicken animals. If you have pets around the house, it’s best to leave the Christmas tree water as pure as possible.

Don’t leave pets outside for long periods: It might the easiest route: when company comes over, putting the pets outside is the best way to keep them from jumping up and getting their fur all over Aunt Shelly’s leather jacket. While it’s fine to keep pets outside in nice weather, pets shouldn’t be kept outside for long amounts of time in cold weather. Placing them in a heated garage or in a basement are better options: these alternatives will help keep your pets warm and keep you from defrosting a dogsicle.

Don’t keep candles lit in a house full of pets: The holidays are a time of the joy of lights, but when candles are involved, that joy can go up in flames. In a house full of pets, particularly cats that crawl and jump on furniture and windowsills, candles have no place. They might look nice, but they can easily be knocked over, fall to the ground and cause your chestnuts to be roasted on an open fire.

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