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Tips For Keeping Your Pets Safe This Season
With everything going on over the holiday season from buying gifts, attending parties and writing cards, it's not difficult to forget that our cherished, four-legged family members need more-than-the-usual attention, too.
When it comes to safety during this time of year, we often hear about precautions when hanging lights, using candles or stoking the fireplace. Rarely do we hear about specific safety measures for our pets.
Below are safety tips to help keep our furry friends safe and sound - and forever loved. Many of them are not new, but worth repeating:
Rethink your holiday decorations:
Ornament hooks, tinsel and small or large glass items, such as snow globes, pictures frames or grandmother's collection of miniature angels, can pose a threat to your animals if they chew on them or knock them over. Place fragile items up high - on a mantel, for example. Replace breakable ornaments with softer versions.
Reconsider toxic holiday plants:
Few people realize that typical holiday plants such as mistletoe, holly and lilies are highly toxic to animals if swallowed. Even poinsettias can cause irritation to lungs and skin. Keep these plants out of reach.
Be careful what you give your pets to eat:
With all the goodies gracing your table this season, continue to be mindful of the scraps you give your pets. Small bones can lodge in your pet's throat, and animal meat and fat - cooked and uncooked - can cause intestinal upset, vomiting and diarrhea. Milk and chocolate are no-no's as well as they can cause diarrhea, or worse.
Clean up right away:
If food falls on the floor or an ornament breaks, sweep up the mess right away so that your pets don't get sick or cut themselves. Also, be careful of carpet powder or room spray to freshen up your surroundings. Too much can irritate your pets' lungs or set off an asthma attack, severe coughing or sneezing.
Think about your tree water:
Pets love to drink water anywhere they find it. That includes the water you give your live Christmas tree, which can cause stomach upset or diarrhea. Consider buying a smaller tree, placing it out of reach or surrounding it with a fence.
Create a peaceful, out-of-the-way place for your pets:
The hectic comings and goings of your home during the holiday season may make your pets nervous. They have a keen sense that something is up when schedules begin to change, you're in and out more often than usual or FEDEX becomes a near-daily visitor. This can make already timid pets more nervous. To help calm their nerves, set up a comfy quiet corner where your pets can relax away from all the activity. One little girl I know turned a large cardboard box into a mini pet motel - outfitted with her cat's favorite blanket and toy.
Finally, give lots of hugs and kisses:
You can make your pets feel more safe by laying on a few extra hugs and kisses this season. Take a minute from your hectic day to show them how much you love them. Of course, you do this already, but a little extra TLC will go a long way in calming nerves - both yours and theirs!
(Partial credit: Buffini)