Have a Holly Jolly (Pet Safe) Christmas

Even when our pets are naughty, we know they are the goodest boys and girls around and they deserve to have a fun (and safe) Christmas with family and friends.

Pet Safe Decorating

If you're like me, you live to commemorate a holiday or event by expressing yourself with decorations. Unfortunately my dogs Penny and Kiki have their own ideas about “redecorating.” Living with pets means that we have to see danger in a different perspective and try our best to avoid it.

Christmas Trees: Nothing says Christmas like a perfectly placed and decorated tree. But a curious, active or clumsy pet can get into a lot of trouble if they are not properly secured.

Christmas trees can tip over if pets climb on them or try to play with the lights and ornaments attached. It is a good idea to secure the tree to the ceiling or wall with fishing wire. Lemon scented air fresheners are also known to deter cats from exploring Christmas trees. Remember, the usual "tricks" to keep your tree fresh longer, such as adding aspirin or sugar to the water, is extremely poisonous if you have a thirsty pet.

Real Trees: Don't let your pet chew or swallow fallen Christmas tree needles from real trees. They are not digestible andcan be mildly toxic depending upon your dog's size and how much they ingest. The fir tree oils can irritate your dog's mouth and stomach and cause them to vomit or drool excessively.

Broken Ornaments:The glass or shattered materials can cause injuries, and swallowed fragments can be toxic, create blockage or other trauma in pets. Edible ornaments, especially those made from salt-dough can also be hazardous to pups.

Tinsel:This material, and other shiny holiday decorations, can be tempting for pets to eat. If swallowed, it can cause either a blockage or choking.

Lights:String lights or anything with wiring can cause a shock or burns when a curious pet chews on the cords. It's also best to not leave lights plugged in when you aren't home.

Potpourris:These should always be kept out of reach of pets. Liquid potpourris are dangerous because they contain essential oils that can severely damage your pet's mouth, eyes and skin. Solid potpourris could cause intestinal problems or even poisoning if ingested.

Flowers and Holiday Plants: These can really brighten up a party or your home, but a visit to the veterinary ER will not!  Amaryllis,mistletoe,balsam, pine,cedar, and hollyare among the commonly used holiday plants that can be dangerous and even poisonous to pets who decide to eat them. Even Poinsettias can make some pets very sick.

Candles:We tend to use a lot of candles during the holidays. They can quickly spark a pet's curiosity, so never, ever leave a pet alone in an area with a lit candle. An innocent tap or tug could result in a major fire. Even a little sniff of a candle could cause a severe burn to your pet.

                       (Beware of puppy eyes)

Pet Safe Christmas Dinner

A lot of popular Christmas meal favorites, like chocolate, alcohol, nuts, and sugary desserts, are extremely toxic to pets. Table scraps like gravy or fried foods can cause severe digestive issues, which can even lead to more life-threatening situations.

We know it's hard to resist an adorable, furry face asking for treats at the table, so be sure to warn your guest(s) not to give in to those tempting puppy eyes. Try keeping some pet-safe treats at the table so that you or your guests can bond with your pets safely.

Don't leave bowls of food, boxes of chocolate (especially chocolate liqueurs), alcohol, or leftovers where nosy paws can reach. Keep your garbage closed tight, both indoors and out, for your pet's safety.

Remember: No Bones!  

Cooked bones (unlike raw bones) splinter easily. Many people think it's ok to give any bones to a dog, but they can cause choking or severe puncture wounds. Try making turkey giblets without seasoning for a special holiday treat.  This way, you can include your fur baby in the meal while keeping them safe and healthy.

Watch the Exits

Make sure that you are careful about not letting your pets out when guest are arriving or leaving. It's easy to lose track of open doors in the excitement of the holidays. Pets can feel scared or anxious with the hustle and bustle of entertaining, and may look for a quick way to escape. Giving them a safe, secure spot in your home may help them feel less scared. Always be sure to check in with your fur kids during, and at the end of the celebration, to make sure they are safe and feeling their best.

Lastly, always keep the number of your vet and/pr 24 hour emergency vet care handy. You never know when an emergency will arise! HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU AND YOUR FURRY LOVED ONES!

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