Holiday Pet Safety

The holidays are upon us and during this magical and occasionally hectic time, it’s important to watch out for hazards that could harm your pet. Below are the top precautions to take to protect your pets this season! 

FOOD. Many of the foods that make the holidays so special can be toxic and even deadly for pets. As a general rule, keep all sweets away from your pets. Topping the list, is of course, chocolate. For dogs, chocolate can cause a variety of health issues and even death. Nuts and candies containing Xylitol are extremely dangerous for all animals and should be avoided. Warn guests not to share table scraps with the family pets. Items such as fat trimmings, dairy, mushrooms, onions, garlic, raw meat or eggs, nutmeg, alcohol, caffeine , and fruit all pose a danger. While grapes and raisins are well known to cause kidney failure, lesser known is the danger of pits in peaches and plums which contain cyanide and is poisonous to both humans and dogs. Also off-limits is any item containing yeast or unbaked dough. BONES. Giving your dog a bone may seem like a nice way to keep your pup from begging at the family table. However, bones can easily splinter causing an obstruction or lacerations in the digestive track.

DECORATIONS. Decorations may look great on the tree but can be perilous to a curious pet. Tinsel, when ingested, can become entangled in the intestines and if not caught in time, may be fatal. Same goes for icicles, netting, garlands, curtains, and decorative rope. Ornaments that can be easily broken or have sharp edges should be kept out of reach. Make sure candles will not be knocked over by a pet on the prowl, as they could easily be burned or start a fire.

ELECTRICAL CORDS. Biting into an electrical cord can cause shock or even prove to be fatal. Turn off any lights and unplug them when you are not home.

PLANTS. Plants and flowers may add cheer, but a single leaf from any lily variety is lethal to cats. Other plants to avoid include Poinsettias, Holly, Christmas tree pine needles and Mistletoe. 

SMALL CHILDREN: The holidays are a time for family to come together, and if your relatives bring small children around a pet that is not used to living with little ones, do not leave them unattended. Children can't help but to pull ears and tails or lay on pets while they are sleeping. Not all dogs or cats are patient enough to tolerate this, so keep everyone safe and happy and supervise children around the animals.

IDENTIFICATION: Lastly, with family coming and going and the door opening and shutting, animals have a higher opportunity of escaping. Make sure you have valid ID tags on their collars, or write your phone number directly on their collars with permanent marker. Make sure dogs are wearing their licenses, and consider a microchip. At the Humane Society of Ventura County, micro-chipping can be done without an appointment and will cost $15.00, and, you can get a new ID tag made right there in the office.

While it may seem like a lot, it only takes a little awareness and precaution for you and your pets to enjoy a healthy and happy holiday

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