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Holiday Safety Tips for Your Pet

Holiday Safety Tips for Your Pet

 White Persian Looks Out a Frosted Window in front of a Holiday Scene

It's that time of year again!  Since many of you will be going on trips this time of year, be sure to schedule and plan any vaccine and/or health certificate visits you may need at this time. You don’t want to wait at the last minute!

 Here are also some important tips to keep your holiday festivities safe and merry for your furry family members.

1. Make sure that electrical cords are covered or taped down.  Many pets will try to chew cords, risking electrocution. Spray them with bitter apple or find pet-safe cords.

2. If you have a live tree, cover the stand thoroughly to prevent curious pets from drinking the water.  Sugar-based tree preservatives can accelerate the growth of bacteria, and could potentially make your pet sick.  In addition, the water itself could pose a drowning hazard for kittens or ferrets.

3. Unplug lights when you are not able to supervise your pets.  Larger lights can grow hot and burn noses and paws. 

4. If you think your pet may knock down ornaments, make sure glass ornaments are positioned near the top of the tree out of the way of your pet's reach.

5. Avoid tinsel and angel hair as these products can cause a blockage if ingested. You may also need to avoid garlands of popcorn and cranberries if your pet will eat these foods. 

6. Don't leave candles or burning oils unattended.

7. If your pet is overly nervous around guests, put him or her in a separate room while company is over.

8. Be mindful of leaving wrapped gifts on the floor if you think your pet may get at the ribbon or string used to wrap the gifts.

9. Keep mistletoe and holly berries out of reach. Poinsettias are not as dangerous as commonly believed but it is still bet to keep them away from plant that could cause an upset stomach.

10. Keep your pet away from alcohol and chocolate.  Also be wary of decorative candy canes if you have a diabetic pet. 

11. Never give your pet chicken or ham bones!  Do not let them lick uncooked bread dough or raw, uncooked meat as well. All of these can make your pet sick.

12. Don't forget that cold weather is here--keep your pets warm by letting them stay inside. 

13. When you do go outside with your pet, you may need to provide him or her with a coat to stay warm. In addition, a wet pet is no longer insulated against the cold. Hairless breeds, such as sphynx cats or Chinese Crested dogs, especially need protection and to spend as little time outdoors as possible.

14. Be mindful that when walking your dog on sidewalks during snow, salt is often on the roads. These can burn paw pads. Ice on paw pads can also be a problem for some dogs, so you may consider investing in booties for some breeds or if you have a great deal of snow.

15. Even if you don't have snow, daylight hours are reduced this time of year and are at their shortest during the solstice. Reflective leashes, collars, and jackets are a must-have.

16. Christmas light displays are fun, but be mindful if your pet has epilepsy. Blinking lights displays can trigger a seizure.

17. On holiday trips, be sure your pet if firmly secured in his or her seat with seat belts or carriers. Roads are slicker this time of year with rain, sleet, and snow.

18. If you need to board your pet, make sure he or she is up-to-date on vaccines, and set your reservations early. Most boarding facilities are full within a few weeks of Christmas and New Year's Day. Set your reservation a month ahead of time.

19. Beware of antifreeze, and take your pet to an emergency clinic as soon as possible if you see your cat or dog ingesting it.

20. Finally, be aware that most vet clinics are closed for the holidays. Keep the number and address of your nearest 24 hours emergency clinic nearby in the event that you need emergency services.

We hope that you and your pets have a safe, wonderful, and joyous holiday season!

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