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Home Holiday Safety Tips for Pet Owners

“On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: three ailing dogs, two sick cats and a bill with a huge vet fee.” Sadly, these alternative lyrics to the Twelve Days of Christmas offer an all too common scenario, one that you, as a pet owner, certainly want to avoid during the holiday season.

Although the holidays can be an exciting and enjoyable time for people, they can be problematic for some pets, and may involve some unexpected hazards. Here are some tips for keeping your dogs, cats, and other pets safe at Christmas time.

Christmas trees and pet safety….

Here are just a few important tips to safeguard your pets:

• If you have a real Christmas tree, keep the water in the stand covered so your animals can’t drink it. The pine sap is dangerous if ingested.
• Secure the tree to a wall or the ceiling with fishing line and a hook to prevent pets from knocking it down.
• Once you’ve decorated your tree, pick up all the tinsel, ribbon, and ornament hooks off of the floor. These glittery items may be attractive play things to your pet, but they can get sick if they ingest them. If a gastrointestinal blockage occurs, surgery may be needed to save your pet.
• If your pet expresses interest in playing with the decorations on the tree, decorate the bottom third of the tree with plastic or wood ornaments that won’t break.


Holiday gifts, plants and candles….

• Keep all gifts that contain human food off the floor so that pets are not tempted by the smells.
• Human treats can be dangerous for pets, especially food containing chocolate, alcohol, raisins and onions.
• Holiday plants such as poinsettias and mistletoe can be dangerous too, if your pet chews on them. Keep holiday plants well out of reach of your pets, or buy artificial plants.
• Many people love to burn candles around this time of year, but they can be hazardous to your pets. Put burning candles in places in places that are inaccessible to your pets and don’t let candles burn unattended.
• If you have birds as pets, be aware that perfumes in scented candles may cause them to develop respiratory inflammation.

The holiday season can be a wonderful time for you and your family pet member, so please remember to keep these safety tips in mind.

If you suspect your animal has ingested something dangerous don’t hesitate to take him or her to the vet. Happy and safe holidays from All for Pets.

-Bev Coxford

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