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Make Sure the Holidays Are Safe for Your Pets

December 16, 2016

Yes, it is that time of year again. Everyone is hastily rushing "to and fro" trying to get things done for the Holidays. Tree stands filled with water, holiday light chords, enticing shiny decorations and plenty of rich foods abound. Whether you've chosen a real tree or an artificial one, remember that many cats like to climb and some dogs may consider it a convenient indoor place to whiz. So, think through where all of your holiday decorations are going to be placed and avoid situations like hanging edible decorations within reach.

Here are some safety tips that can help prevent an unwanted trip to the animal hospital for a holiday emergency:

Decorations - There is something about those shiny holiday decorations that's hard for cats to ignore. To make matters worse, many owners think it is cute to watch a playful kitten pawing away. Unfortunately, eating tinsel or ribbon can cause a foreign object to become stuck inside your pet's digestive tract. So, think about what objects you're going to use and where you're going to place them.

Holiday Plants - Almost every pet owner has heard that Poinsettias are poisonous and the white sap from stems or leaves is not good for them. But, poinsettias aren't that toxic. More importantly is to keep mistletoe out of reach, as any part of the plant is very toxic if ingested. Also, be cautious of placing Holly berries within your pet's reach.

Lights and Extension Cords - Pets are often intrigued by all the extension cords and wiring that's just laying around in spaces that are typically not off limits. Just remember these can be attractive for pets to chew on and can cause electrical shock and burns. Consider using runners that allow you to neatly bundle exposed wires or simply get creative with throw rugs, etc.

Overindulgence - When we overindulge during the Holidays, it's not good for us. But, sharing holiday foods and treats with your pets can lead to serious health conditions like pancreatitis caused by eating too much fatty foods. Plan ahead and have some real pet treats available. That way your pets get to participate without the upset stomach.

With your attention pulled in a dozen different directions, it is easy to get distracted and not notice what your cat or dog is getting into. In addition to monitoring all the tempting hazards, unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations, it is important to keep your pet's eating habits and exercise routines as to normal as possible during the holiday season. After all, avoiding a veterinary emergency is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your furry friend. Plan for a Happy and Safe Holiday.

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