Keep both pets and your Christmas decorations safe by avoiding these seven hazards

 

Christmas Tree

If you buy a real tree, skip the tree fertilizer, and keep pets from treating the stagnant water as their personal water bowl. Got a climber on your hands? To keep your dog or cat away from the base of the tree, use crumpled-up paper, a plastic bottle filled with beans, or anything else that creates noise at the base of the tree. This trick may scare them off, or at least warn of their approach in time for you to intervene.

Delicate Ornaments
To protect your pet and your valuable family decorations, make sure that small or breakable ornaments are placed higher on the tree. In addition to being a choking and intestinal blockage hazards, shards from broken glass ornaments may potentially injure their little paws and mouths.

Batteries and Small Toys
Every parent knows the joy of watching kids rip into Santa’s bounty on Christmas morning—followed by an afternoon of stepping on errant Legos, stray batteries, or tiny dollhouse pieces. Pets, too, discover these items and will eat them without proper supervision. These small pieces can get stuck in their intestinal tract, a condition that requires surgical removal.

Candy
Southern grandmothers are famous for scattering bowls of bite-sized sweets around the house during the holidays. Unfortunately, this can be dangerous if you’ve got curious (or particularly agile) pets. Small hard candies are choking hazards to pets without strong teeth and jaws, and chocolate is a long-known toxin to all animals, requiring a potentially expensive emergency visit to the vet. To be safe, keep these treats out of a pet’s reach. 

Small Bones 
Serving a holiday feast to your pets will only make them sick; thus, direct your table scraps into the trash rather than their food bowl. Particularly dangerous are turkey and chicken bones—not only can these cause blockages in the intestines, but they can splinter and break, causing punctured internal organs.

Festive Foliage
Deck the halls to your heart’s content, but remember: Holly and mistletoe, both popular seasonal decorations, can cause vomiting and severe stomach upset in pets if ingested. Keep the mistletoe securely fashioned over a doorway, well out of your pet’s domain.

Twinkle Lights
Keep strands of sparkling lights away from the bottom few branches of your Christmas tree, beyond the reach of your pet’s curious sniffing. Not only can pets get tangled in string lights, but these strands can give them a potentially life-threatening electrical shock if a pet bites through the wire. Tape extra lengths of electrical cord to the wall or a nearby piece of furniture.

 More from Southern Living and it’s writers here http://www.southernliving.com/christmas/christmas-pet-safety

 

Homeward Bound Total Wellness 

Valentine’s Day Pet Do’s and Don’ts from the Pet Poison Help Line

Do find safe gifts to show your pet Valentine’s Day love! 

A new collar, treats, or toys can all be great gifts for your pet on Valentine’s day.  Valentine’s Day can also be a great time to try a new dog or cat treat recipe or make a new toy.  If your pet is already swimming in toys and treats, consider giving toys, bedding, food, or a donation to an animal shelter or rescue group in your pet’s name.

Don’t forget that many pets appreciate the gift of time and love more than anything!

An extra walk and some extra time cuddling or playing cost nothing and will be greatly appreciated by your cat or dog.  The extra exercise and snuggle time is a healthy, happy choice for you as well.

Do be careful to keep Valentine’s gifts, foods, flowers, and drinks away from your pet’s reach!

Chocolate, flowers, candy, rich foods, and alcoholic drinks are common in our homes as we celebrate Valentine’s Day.  Dogs will readily ingest toxic amounts of chocolate, and keep us busy here at Pet Poison Helpline at this time of year.  If you have cats, please watch out for flower bouquets that include lilies, as lilies are very toxic to cats.  Rich foods can cause stomach upset and possibly pancreatitis when ingested by pets.  Pets can be sensitive to alcohol, so be certain to keep alcoholic drinks out of reach.  Also be careful with sugar-free foods that might contain xylitol, which can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar when ingested by pets.

Don’t forget to share the love!

Valentine’s Day can be a lonely holiday for many people.  This could be a great time to visit an animal shelter and donate your time and attention to rescued pets.  While I do not recommend giving pets as gifts, if you are thinking about adding a furry friend to your household, Valentine’s Day could be a great time to adopt.  Maybe a visit with your pet could help brighten the day of someone you know who is unable to have their own dog or cat.  This could also be a great time to look into getting your dog certified as a Canine Good Citizen or therapy dog to help others.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Pet Poison Helpline!