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The Hazards of The Holidays: Tips for Keeping Your Pets Safe Throughout The Season

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

When you're celebrating the holidays you need to keep all of your family members in mind, no matter how many legs they may have. With all of the decorations and festivities, the holidays can be an exciting time of the year for your four-legged fur babies, but it can be a dangerous time for them, as well. The holidays pose many new hazards to your pets that don't pose as much of a threat the rest of the year. Here are a couple ways to try to keep your furry friends safe and happy throughout the season.

Be mindful of all of your additional holiday electronics and decorations. Many of our furry friends (and even children) find it hard to resist an electrical cord out in the open. Be sure, if possible, to hide all loose extension cords or tape them down with electrical tape. It will keep your pets from being able to bite them or chew on them, protecting them from electrical shock.

Be careful when bringing in festive plants. Many traditional holiday plants can be poisonous for your pets if ingested. Try to stay away from fresh holly, poinsettias, and mistletoe when decorating, or at least keep them well out of reach. Certain types of lilies can be poisonous as well, so they should also be kept well out of harm's way.

Always keep an eye on open flames and your pets. When you have candles burning for the season, make sure, again, that they are always up high and out of your pet's reach. Animals are attracted to their glow as well as their warmth. It is especially important to be mindful of your cats around flames. Never leave the candles lit when you're out of the room. If you have a fireplace burning, be sure to keep a safety screen in front of it, keeping your pet a safe distance away. If you're animals are anything like mine their favorite place to sleep is right up against the screen, so providing a safety screen will keep them at a distance to avoid them getting burnt.

Keep your pet safe when around a holiday tree. Because animals are drawn to the tree and lights, keep all hooks and ornaments above their reach to keep them from breaking the glass or eating any hooks. Also, don't use tinsel or angel's hair on your tree if your pets will be in the same room. The shining strings are tempting to your cats and dogs, and can cause blockages if ingested. Because animals are apt to drink the water from the reservoir that the tree is kept in (goodness knows my cat has since he was born) never use any chemicals or preservatives that are supposed to keep your tree alive longer.

Keep a safe place for your pet during the hectic holiday rush. There are usually areas and special spots in your home where your pet spends a good deal of their time; feeling that this is their safe and own place. Be sure to keep those safe places accessible to them, especially when you're having company over. The anxiety from the commotion, plus the inability to hide in their safe zone, can be frightening and dangerous for your animals. Be mindful that this is their home too and they need their own room.

Watch all holiday food and treats when animals are in the room. Animals are keen to steal any unmanned plates, bowls, and glasses with leftovers. If animals get a hold of unattended chocolates, certain artificial sweeteners, or alcoholic beverages they may end themselves up in the emergency vet. The same goes for stolen fatty foods and bones; neither are poisonous but can cause bloating and irritate digestive systems.

Long Island Pets Articles > The Hazards of The Holidays: Tips for Keeping Your Pets Safe Throughout The Season

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