Keeping pets safe during the holiday season

With all the craziness of getting ready for the holidays, we may forget that the holiday season poses serious dangers to pets. Simple things such as ornaments or electrical wires or even food can harm pets. Thankfully, there are ways to keep your pets safe and still be able smother your home in holiday cheer.

When it comes to decorations, one of the first things you can do to keep your cat, dog, rabbit, or any other critter you have running about, safe is to keep electrical cords out of reach and unplug any lights when they are not in use.. They can look like chew toys to animals. Also try to avoid putting glass ornaments near the bottom of your Christmas tree and try to anchor it down some how so it will not fall on top of animals or children. If you have a live tree, do not let animals drink the water, because it may contain pesticides or other chemicals from the tree. Be sure to clean up any glass as soon as it breaks.  Also remember that ribbons and small bow on presents are tempting to animals and they may choke on them. If you celebrate Hanukah, keep your menorah or any other candles out of reach of pets.

In terms of food, keep all candies and chocolates out of pet access. It is also best to discourage your guests from sharing table scraps with your pets, especially things containing onions. They may beg, but it is best not to share our holiday leftovers with our pets. Sugar free gum is also a big danger to pets. It contains an ingredient that is toxic to them. They do make many special animal treats for this time of year, so your pet won’t have to miss out on the holiday cheer.

Remember that having visitors over and other commotion can cause stress to pets. Some cats urinate outside of their litter tray when they are in high stress situations. Please try to be understanding of this, or it will make the stress worse. Try to avoid high stress for elderly pets.

In case of an emergency, contact your vet. If your vet’s office is closed, there is a 24 hour emergency veterinarian in Louisville, For more information on animal safety during the holidays, visit the ASPCA’s website.

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