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Holiday Safety for Cats and Dogs
December 1, 2014

As a pet owner, you undoubtedly want to include your four-legged friend in your festive celebrations. Your pet will love it, too—just make sure they stay safe with these helpful tips from a Ceres vet.

Avoid Holiday Treats

The holidays are usually awash with all kinds of goodies, from chocolate and candy to cakes and cookies. Make sure your pet doesn’t get ahold of these, as chocolate is highly toxic and many candies contain artificial sugars that could cause harm. Fatty foods can upset your pet’s stomach, and bones can splinter dangerously. Keep your pet eating her regular diet through the holidays.

Anchor the Tree

If you’re setting up a tree this year, make sure it’s anchored securely in a sturdy base. Pets might brush up against the tree or purposely tug on it, causing dangerous toppling accidents. Plus, the stagnant water in a tree base can harbor bacteria, so you don’t want it spilling out. Don’t forget to sweep up fallen pine needles, either—they can irritate a pet’s stomach or even puncture the intestinal lining when swallowed.

Ornament Hazards

Some pets see tree ornaments and shiny tinsel as fun toys. Unfortunately, tinsel can all-too-easily become wrapped around a pet’s intestines if ingested. Small, breakable pieces on ornaments present a choking hazard, so inspect them before decorating.

Dangerous Holiday Plants

If your pet ingests enough of the poinsettia plant, holly, or mistletoe, the results could be disastrous. These plants can cause toxic reactions if enough is ingested. It’s safest to keep these plants far out of your pet’s reach. In the event that your pet does decide to nibble and swallow part of one, call your vet immediately for further instructions.

Offer a Safe Haven

The hustle and bustle of the holidays can be overwhelming to many pets, especially if guests are coming to your home. Provide a safe haven in a back room—put a few soft blankets or a pet bed in a quiet spot away from high-traffic areas. Show your pet where it is so she can escape to rest if she starts feeling anxious.

Your Ceres veterinarian can offer even more helpful holiday safety tips. Call today with any questions!

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