• Claudine Wilkins

7 Holiday safety tips for your pets

Having to make an emergency trip to the vet can spoil your holiday and be costly. Here are seven safety trips to ensure a happy, healthy and safe holiday for you and your pet.

1) Keep people food out of the reach of your pet, and ask your guests to do the same.

People food can sometimes not agree with your pet or can actually be harmful or even cause death. Chocolate is definitely a no-no as it is highly toxic to pets. Sweets and baked goods are also not good. Xylitol, an artificial sweetener often found in baked goods has been linked to liver failure and eath in dogs.

Table scraps are also a no-no. Many foods we eat are poisonous to pets - onions, raisins and grapes - just to name a few. The high fats in holiday dishes are fattening to pets and sometimes hard for them to digest.

2) Don’t leave your pet alone in the room with lit candles, a decorated tree or potpourri.

Pets can knock over candles which would be very bad for holiday celebrations. Pets also seem to be fascinated with Christmas Trees, so keep your tree secured and safe by not letting Fido or Fluffy alone with this Christmas tradition.

3) Keep holiday plants (especially holly, mistletoe and lillies) out of reach of pets.

Certain holiday plants are toxic to pets. Poinsettias are very toxic to cats and dogs as are lillies, mistletoe and holly.

4) Consider leaving the tinsel off your tree if you have a cat.

This one is pretty self explanatory. The outcomes are too numerous to mention.

5) Secure your Christmas tree to keep it from falling over if your dog bumps it or your cat climbs it.

Hanging lemon-scented car air fresheners in the tree may deter your cat from climbing it.

6) Keep electrical chords secured.

Pets sometimes like to chew and can end up burned or worse if they chew those Christmas chords.

7) Provide a safe place for your pet to escape the excitement.

Keep a safe place such as a kennel, crate, perching place, scratching post, shelf or hiding place easily accessible so they have a retreat away from the madness

If your pet is excitable or scared, consider putting your pet in another room with some toys and a comfortable bed.

For even more holiday pet safety information, click here to see what the American Veterinary Medicine Association has to say.

We wish you and your whole family (human and furry alike) a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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