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12 Pet Safety Tips of Christmas


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12 safety tips to ensure pet safety and a safe howliday

12) Candles Burn Bright: Curiosity can kill a cat or a puppy. If a candle is knocked over, a house fire can start. A pet can get singed brushing against a candle. Scented candles can be life-threatening to birds due their sensitive respiratory systems. The best candles may be the kind you plug in.

11) Stress Is Contagious:  Holiday time is frenetic, You’re behind in your holiday shopping; you have parties to attend; you have out of town guests and your boss expects you to finish a project before Christmas. Totally stressed out; there’s no time – not even for your best friend with four legs or feathers. As a result, the pet picks up on our anxiety, and their schedules are askew. Here are tips for dealing with that stress.

10) Meet The Relatives: Some pets are social butterflies, others not so much. A constant flow of relatives can be traumatic to some pets (even more than it is to you). Don’t force the pets to interact with Aunt Gloria and Uncle Jay if they don’t want to. In fact, it may be most fair to seclude anxious pets in a sanctuary room, like a den, second bedroom or basement – plug in a pheromone diffuser (to naturally diffuse stress), such as Adaptil or Feliway and offer distracting games in food puzzles. Also, pump up classical music or easy listening tunes like “Sounds of Silence” to hopefully minimize the sounds of squabbling family members.

9) Good Housekeeping: Some pets, especially puppies and kittens, like to munch on errant Christmas tree needles. They can choke on them, or they can cause a serious upset tummy. Birds can perch on plastic trees, but they shouldn’t be allowed to munch on plastic needles.

8) Avoid Prickly Christmas Trees: When choosing a tree, consider one with pet-friendly pliable needles – such as a Douglas fir or white pine. They won’t stick in your pet’s paws. (They’re also easier to vacuum).

7) Beware Where You Kiss: Kissing under the mistletoe is quite romantic but be sure that fresh mistletoe is out of your pet’s reach, it’s toxic. Poinsettia plants aren’t likely to be the life-threatening hazard some in the media have propagated, though still not at all a healthy choice for pets and should be kept out of reach

6) Deck The Halls: Being merely human, we may all suffer from the ‘grandma syndrome,’ expressing love by feeding our pets treats. The truth is that a little tidbit of turkey, chicken or ham – and certainly some slices of carrot or apple – aren’t likely to harm most pets. However, the problem arises when your well-meaning guests overdo it. After all, a 150 lb. person scarfing down five slices of turkey may be pushing the limits of being over-satiated. While a German shepherd dog might be able to eat that much without stomach upset, a diminutive Yorkshire terrier or a cat might pay the price. For those little guys, a few slices is like a human adult eating half a turkey or hame. Sometimes several well-meaning guests simultaneously sneak food to your pet when you’re not looking, so the pets are getting far more than you think. Or maybe it’s sneaky dumpster diving or counter surfing pet that a pet. Most important, eating fat or skin can lead to a dangerous and painful inflammation of the pancreas called pancreatitis. Swallowing bones may also be life threatening, causing an obstruction requiring a emergency surgery. Don’t trust that because he’s never before swiped food from the counter tops or the trash, that Christmas dinner temptation won’t override training.

5) Holiday Treats To Die For: Be sure to Aunt Ethel’s chocolate brownies for dieting Santa out of reach of the pets, Aunt Ethel was very thoughtful regarding Santa’s efforts to lose a few pounds. Also, using a brownie mix with a sugar substitute called Xylitol might kill a dog. Not only is the chocolate dangerous, Xylitol is also toxic.

If you’re serving margaritas and guacamole, what a fun party. However, that avocado can make pet birds very ill.

4) Ban Tinsel and Ribbon: Cats love playing with tinsel, and they can knock down an entire tree as they pull on tinsel or ornaments hanging from branches. Secure your tree. Cats and puppies are so fascinated by tinsel and ribbon they may make a meal of it, which keeps veterinarians in surgery on Christmas Day. Tinsel and ribbon is so potentially hazardous and so tempting that the best answer may be to hire a security guard to insure no tinsel or ribbon is allowed on the premises.  

3) Cats will be cats: From your cat’s perspective, Christmas trees may the best gift ever. Except for elderly or obese cats, daring your kitty not to scamper up the tree is not a realistic expectation. Don’t risk hanging antique family heirloom ornaments or glass ornaments on the tree. Display these somewhere else. A small latticework fence around the base of the tree will prevent most cats from being able to climb.

2) No Sugar Plums In the Water: Homemade family recipes or those suggested on the Internet include a list of bizarre products to add to the base of the tree to presumably lengthen Christmas tree life, and they include chicken soup, Vitamin C, dog urine (yuck!), bleach or even birth control pills. Aside from potentially making that water your tree sits in dangerous for a pet to drink, experts suggest there’s nothing you can add that’s likely to make your tree last longer (aside from fresh water). A tree-stand skirt prevents your pet from drinking this water.

1) A Family Affair:  As the family gathers to open presents, include all family members, even for those with fur, feathers or scales. Often times, pets will easily sniff out which gifts are for them. And moreover, you’re teaching children that all lives do matter.

Happy Howlidays!

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