During busy and festive times of the year, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, pet owners need to be alert to the potential dangers that exist for their animals. A few precautions will prevent unnecessary grief.
- Decorations: Sharp or breakable ornaments, ribbons, yarn, angel hair, icicles, and tinsel are all very real hazards to dogs and cats, who often ingest these items when attempting to play with them. These are NOT appropriate toys.
- Tree: Pine tar from needles, sprayed on preservatives, and flocking are all poisonous – as is the water in the tree pan which animals might drink. Electrical cords and strings of lights can give a deadly shock when chewed on,. Instead of sharp “fish-hook” hangers, use green or red pipe cleaners for attaching ornaments; twist tightly and they won’t fall off. Also, be sure to secure tree from falling over onto pets.
- Plants: Poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly are very poisonous to pets. Keep them out of reach.
- Food: All that rich, fatty dressing and gravy can make your pet sick. Turkey bones can splinter and lodge in an animal’s throat or intestines. The string used while cooking the turkey is tempting and hazardous; dispose of carefully. Chocolate is poisonous to animals, and alcohol is equally fatal. Keep all these away from your pet.
- Other dangers: including lighted candles, ribbons tied around a pet’s neck, and open doors through which your pet can dash (often unnoticed) and become lost. Keep collars and I.D. on all cats and dogs in case they escape from your home or yard. When expecting guests, confine animals in a quiet room and keep door closed.
Remember, your pets will be curious and excited by all the activities, and more likely than usual to get into trouble. By taking the proper steps ahead of time, and using a little caution, you can insure that your holiday season is joyful, and not marred by needless tragedy.