Holiday Safety

Remember to "pet-proof" your house for the holidays. The following guidelines are recommended for protecting man's best friend:

  • Food--certain food--can be fatal. Alcoholic beverages and coffee are exceptionally dangerous, as are onions, salt, yeast, fatty foods, macadamia nuts, and chocolate.  Keep Fido out of the trashcan, too--spoiled and moldy foods can also cause digestive problems.
  • Keep poisonous plants out of reach or in areas where pets aren't free to wander. These include lilies, which can cause kidney failure in cats; poinsettias and holly, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea; and mistletoe, which can cause cardiovascular problems and gastrointestinal upset.
  • Keep the water in your Christmas tree stand covered. Tree water is often infested with fertilized, bacteria, and other harmful elements.
  • Christmas trees themselves can be hazardous--kittens can become entangled in tinsel 
    and ribbon, and broken ornaments can be hazardous to delicate paws.
  • Keep electrical cords--a chewing temptation--away from Fido and Fluffy.
  • Plastic gift bags can suffocate--keep them out of animals' reach.
  • Make sure candles and other unprotected flames are not within your pets' reach. Spilled 
    wax can cause burns if a curious cat or dog bumps into some and a flickering flame begs 
    to be sniffed, pawed at and knocked over.
  • Human medications, often used more during the holidays, should be stored out of pets' reach.  Just one regular-strength ibuprofen tablet can cause stomach ulcers in a ten-pound dog.
  • Fumes from wrapping paper burned in the fireplace can cause toxic fumes to birds.
  • Place telephone numbers for your veterinarian, an emergency vet service, the SPCA, and 
    ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-ANI-HELP) in a convenient location.