IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE CHOCOLATE…

posted November 15th, 2009 by
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STORY BY Mary Green

THE HOLIDAYS ARE UPON US! We are so busy with decorating, baking, shopping, traveling your pets’ safety can be the last thing on our list. Keeping the “furry” family members happy and safe during the Holiday season should be as important as Grandma’s sugar cookies!

RULE NUMBER ONE SHOULD BE: PETS SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN AS PRESENTS!

AS YOU DECk THE HALLS, THINK ABOUT WHAT MIGHT BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR PETS.

TINSEL - while not toxic to animals, can cause intestinal obstruction or even present a choking hazard.
THE CENTERPIECE of the Holiday decorations, the Christmas tree, presents particular challenges to be pet-safe. Dogs find lights and cords tempting to pull on, and cats have a particular penchant for climbing the trees, both of which can cause the tree to come tumbling down. OTHER HAZARDS TO CONSIDER ARE:
GLASS ORNAMENTS - hang them high on the tree. Consider instead hanging nonbreakable wooden, metal, plastic or resin ornaments on lower branches.
BUBBLE LIGHTS – they contain ethylene chloride which can be lethal if ingested.
ANGEL HAIR – not the pasta, but the spun glass, can cause irritation to your pet’s eyes and skin.
RIBBONS AND BOWS ON PACKAGES – can be a choking hazard or cause intestinal obstruction. And please don’t put ribbons around your animal’s neck. This could cause serious injury or even death.
TREE STAND WATER – may contain harmful bacteria which could give your pet a very upset tummy.

While Poinsettias often get a bad rap for being toxic to pets, there are many more seasonal plants that are very dangerous if your pet ingests them. Ivy, HoLLY, AND MISTLETOE all are very toxic and can be lethal if consumed. Cedar, balsam, juniper, pine and fir are moderately toxic. CANDLES are a particular challenge, and if lighted, should be well out of reach of pets. It is too easy for a pet to knock them over and cause a fire hazard, both to themselves and your home.

Using caution and a common-sense approach to decorating for this holiday season will help keep your pet safe and happy!

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