As you start decorating and celebrating this holiday season, here are a few tips for making sure your pets stay safe:
- When you have a party, consider keeping your dog in a crate as your guests come and go to make sure he or she doesn't escape during frequent door openings.
- As you entertain, keep food out of reach. Rich human food can upset sensitive pet tummies or even be dangerous (especially chocolate, which can be toxic or even fatal to pets).
- Keep your garbage covered so curious critters don't ingest dangerous substances or small bones.
- When decorating, keep delicate ornaments high. Broken glass can cut your pet's feet and be very dangerous if swallowed.
- Keep those edible ornaments, such as cookies and candy canes, up high, too.
- Secure your Christmas tree. Choose a safe spot, make sure your tree is mounted carefully in a stable stand and don't let your pets drink the water from the stand.
- Skip the tinsel, which can be dangerous if swallowed.
- Hide or tape down extra electric cords to prevent shocks and tangles.
- Be extra careful with open flames. Make sure you put a screen in front of your fireplace, place candles up high on a stable surface, and never leave them burning unattended.
- Many plants that we commonly use for holiday decorating are extremely toxic for animals, including poinsettias, holly, ivy, amaryllis, mistletoe, cyclamen, narcissus, kalanchoe, and most lilies. Be careful where you place these plants, keeping them well away from your pets, including bird cages.
- Watch the ribbons. Colorful and tempting, ribbons can be dangerous for pets if they eat them or get tangled in them.
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