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How to Keep Your Dog or Cat Safe During the Holidays

December 15, 2015
If your pet is like many, she’s probably excited to be included in the holiday festivities this year. Use these tips from your Georgetown, IN veterinarian to keep your four-legged friends safe throughout the holiday season.

Keep an Eye on Toxic Foods

Many holiday foods aren’t good for pets, including onions, garlic, chives, grapes and raisins, chocolate, candy, gum, caffeine, salt, fatty foods, certain nuts, and more. Keep your pet out of the kitchen during meal preparation and dinnertime so that they can’t gain access to any harmful foods. Also, refrain from offering your pet bones; they can splinter apart when chewed, creating chunks or shards that can hurt your pet when swallowed.

Decorate Carefully

Use caution when decorating your holiday tree. Tinsel and ornaments likely look like fun toys to many pets, but they can cause choking, intestinal obstruction, and other problems if swallowed. If necessary, place decorations on the high portion of your tree where pets can’t reach them, or leave them off entirely.

Wrap Wisely

It’s best not to include your pet in holiday gift-wrapping sessions. Wrapping paper, tape, twine, ribbons, and bows can all be swallowed, leading to choking and intestinal blockage. Don’t leave such items lying around where pets can gain access to them. Also, put away scissors rather than leaving them on the floor, as pets and humans alike can cut themselves by accident.

Beware of Alcohol

Be sure to use caution when including alcohol in your holiday celebrations. Alcohol of all types—liquor, wine, beer, champagne, even certain foods cooked with alcohol—can prove very dangerous for pets. It affects animals the same way it affects humans, except that it takes only small amounts to do serious damage. Never let pets imbibe in alcoholic beverages or eat foods made with alcohol.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

The hustle and bustle of the holidays can affect many pets negatively, especially if they’re shy to begin with. If guests are coming to your home over the holiday season, set up a “safe zone” in a quiet back room just for your pet. Include a pet bed, some soft blankets, and a toy or two. Lead your pet here if you see them beginning to exhibit signs of distress. Would you like more advice on keeping your pet safe this holiday season? Give your vet in Georgetown, IN a call today for help from a veterinary professional.

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