Keeping Pets Safe Over the Holidays

The holidays are a fun and festive time of year, and with a few extra steps it is possible to ensure that your pets stay safe and enjoy the season as well.

  • Make sure food is kept out of reach

Many of our favorite holiday dishes can create safety issues for our pets, including stuffing, which contains onions. Along with dressing, the turkey itself can create problems for pets. Dogs and cats cannot always properly digest the bones from cooked turkeys; cooking can potentially make these bones brittle, causing them to snap and become jagged.  To protect your pet, make sure to dispose of any cooked bones properly in such a way that pets cannot get to them. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA.org) also stresses that it is important to keep other human treats, like chocolate and grapes, out of reach as they are toxic to dogs and cats.

  • Keep your decorations out of reach and secure

The AVMA warns that, “tinsel and other holiday decorations also can be tempting for pets to eat. Consuming them can cause intestinal blockages, sometimes requiring surgery.”  Pets, especially cats, are naturally curious, and will attempt to play with decorations which can lead to accidental breakage, or even whole Christmas trees tipping over, creating hazards for your pets.

  • Know what plants you bring into your home

Many plants that we enjoy over the holiday seasons can be toxic if ingested by pets.  The AVMA recommends checking with your vet before bringing the following plants into your home: amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, holly, and poinsettias.  They urge owners to visit the ASPCA’s website for a full list of toxic plants for cats and dogs.

Visit the AVMA’s website for more holiday safety tips at https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/holidays.aspx.  Happy holidays from everyone at the Deer Park Gazette!

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