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Article 7: Holiday Safety
PET SAFETY TIPS FOR THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS
There is nothing worse for your pet and your family than spending the holidays in the exam room or waiting room of the local veterinary emergency clinic. It is stressful, expensive, and very often completely avoidable. Most of the holiday emergency stories that we follow up on involve incidents that are preventable by following these basic tips.
H. Hide the people food. Even though we want our pets to feel like they are part of the family festivities letting them graze down the holiday buffet table is a sure-fire recipe for a visit to the
emergency clinic. Anything more than a small taste of turkey and all the fixings are too much. Never fix your pet a plate of people food. Find other ways to make them feel like they are part of the fun. Maybe a post-dinner family walk or play-time would be a fun family activity.
O. Observe good fire safety habits. This is a good rule all the time and not just during the holidays. If you plan on lighting candles for your holiday traditions or dinner tables be sure that they are never left unattended. The temptation is often too great for fluffy or Fido. They want to
see what all the fuss is about and can hurt themselves or your entire estate. If you burn a fire in your fireplace make sure the fire screen or fire doors are in place at all times. A stray spark can give your pet a hot paw or hot coat.
L. Leave the candy in the candy dish! This is probably the most common reason for a holiday emergency clinic visit. Never leave bags of candy or even pieces of candy out in the open or on display in your home. Your pet is going to find it and is going to want to eat it bag, wrapper, candy and all. Chocolate in any form is toxic to your pet and should never be allowed
to be consumed. If you want to leave it out for your guests please make sure it is secure in a candy dish with a lid or in a high place out-of-reach of all pets. It is important to explain to young children whether they are your kids or simply holiday guests in your home that you never ever feed pets candy and why. If you discuss this ahead of time you will avoid a lot of hurt feelings and tears during the celebration.
I. Inspect your home for toxic plants. Very often we receive plants and flowers from loved ones during the holiday season. We might even buy plants from the local boy scouts to put on display. When these plants or flowers enter your home please make sure they are not toxic to your pet. If you are not sure whether a plant is toxic to pets you can check with the national pet poison control website by clicking on this link http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/. If you must display a toxic plant so as not to offend Aunt Fanny when she comes over place the plant well out of reach of any pet in your home.
D. Decorate your home for the holidays with pet safety in mind. Don’t ever use food as a form of
decoration. It might be fun to string popcorn and cranberries for the tree with your kids, but it won’t be fun going after that string at the emergency clinic. Don’t hang tree lights or lighted ornaments within chewing reach of your pets. It will be quite a shock to both you and them if their chewing leads to an electrical jolt. Place them out of reach and leave the lower limbs of the tree for more harmless ornaments. Tinsel is a great temptation for your pets and ingestion can lead to a variety of internal issues. If you must use it keep it out of paw or mouth reach. Your family heirloom set of miniature winter village buildings should also be placed out of pet reach. All
breakables should be placed in pet-safe locations away from wagging and flicking tails.
A. Avoid open alcoholic beverages within your pet’s reach. Be sure to not leave open, semi-empty, or full glasses, bottles, cans or other containers of alcoholic beverages around your home. The smell of a beer, wine, punch, or mixed drink may be too much for your pet to “Just Say No!” Often ingestion occurs when a pet raids the trash can and finds partially consumed beverages. Just make sure you have removed all alcoholic risks either down the drain or all the way to the main covered trash can in your home. This will make sure that your pet will be able to recite the alphabet backwards for you when you administer a surprise sobriety test.
Y. Yield to temptation. The very best way to have a pet-safe and enjoyable holiday season is to show your pet a lot of love. Give them extra walks, brushings, or play time. They will enjoy that just as much if not more than partaking in the holiday cheer. Avoid the temptation to make
them an over-active participant in your family’s holiday festivities.
We wish every pet owner and their pets a safe and trauma-free holiday season this year.
One of our representatives will be happy to contact you via e-mail within 24 hours, or for urgent needs please call us at: (913) 888-3939