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Holiday Pet Tips


As you celebrate the season, it's important to keep your companion animals safe and stress-free. Here are some helpful hints:

1) Be careful with holiday decorations. Common yuletide plants such as poinsettias, mistletoe, ivy and holly berries can be poisonous, possibly even fatal. Tree adornments and Christmas and Hanukkah candles can cause choking or severe intestinal problems if swallowed. Exposed wiring can electrocute a curious animal who chews on it. Dogs and cats can be allowed to romp through discarded wrapping paper and empty boxes, but be sure to dispose of all bows, yarn and curling ribbons. 

2) Crowds of people and holiday festivities can frighten animals. If you plan to entertain, you must plan ahead on your pets' behalf. Make sure they have a "safe haven" where they can retreat. If you are a cat owner, note that a disruption such as the rearrangement of furniture around the house for the holidays may cause your feline to stop using the litter box.

3) Pets are not garbage disposals for holiday left-overs. Do not stuff an animal. Poultry bones can splinter and cause blockages, chocolates are poisonous, and any sudden change of diet, even for just one meal, can give your dog or cat stomach pain and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals, whose digestive systems are often more delicate and nutritional requirements more strict. Aluminum foil that has been wrapped around
meat and disposable baking pans might be attractive to a pet, but do not let your companion near these -- ingestion of aluminum foil may cause vomiting, intestinal blockage or even more serious problems.

4) A Christmas tree should stand in a flat, wide base. You might also want to anchor the tree with fishing line tied to drapery rods or the wall. Cats often see trees as fabulous climbing posts. If your feline shows a penchant for this activity, decorate with animal-safe items such as dried flowers, pine cones or fabric and wood ornaments. You also might want to consider putting the tree in a room with doors that close. Tinsel and popcorn strands can be deadly to pets, and glass balls can shatter in an animal's mouth.

5) Please remember that the changes and activity over the holidays can cause an animal stress and anxiety.

By taking proper precautions, you can help your pet enjoy the holiday season.

information source:
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

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