Getting your furry family members ready for the holidays takes a little bit of planning. Chief Veterinarian, Dr. Mark Verdino from the North Shore Animal League America has some helpful tips.
Holiday Pet Safety Tips:
• Pet Collars & ID: With visitors coming and going, the risk of your pet getting loose increases. Check that your pet has ID, either a tag or microchip, as it is easy for your pet to run off through the open door. As festive as it may look, avoid putting ribbons around a pet's neck. They can fray, come loose and become a chewing temptation, or get caught on an object or furniture and possibly cause choking. For holiday color, purchase a brightly hued collar, and remember to affix the ID tag.
• The Christmas Tree: Christmas trees can be problematic for pets. If your tree is not secured properly, a cat or dog can knock it over so be sure your tree is properly secured. Water from your holiday tree can also pose problems. Often, the tree water may contain fertilizers or tree preservatives which can lead to stomach upset. Pine needles are also dangerous if swallowed. Pine needles can be sharp and have the potential to puncture intestines so they should be regularly swept up.
• Open Flames: Candles, menorahs and any open-flame objects should be kept far out of your pets’ reach and never left unattended. Consider opting for flameless candles when placing them near areas where your pets can easily access.
• Tinsel, Ribbons and Ornaments: Tinsel is a huge temptation for our pets – especially cats. Ingesting tinsel or ribbon can not only lead to stomach upset, but it can get wrapped around our pets’ intestines causing major health problems which may require surgical intervention. Wrapping paper and glass ornaments may also pose threats. If eaten, these foreign substances can cause depression, stomach upset, vomiting, or diarrhea, if not naturally passed. Glass ornaments can also cause internal bleeding if shards make internal cuts. So please be sure and keep these items out of your pets reach.
• Holiday Foliage: Holly, evergreens and mistletoe are common holiday plants that are toxic to your pets. Poinsettia, though not truly poisonous, can cause gastric upset if its sap is ingested. Please keep these far away from your pets.
• Electrical Cords: Electrical cords are another potential holiday hazard. Pets sometimes find it appetizing to chew on them which can give them a harmful jolt, burns, abnormal heartbeat and in worse-case scenarios, death. All cords should be secured and out of the way.
• Sweets and Treats: Nothing is more tempting than slipping your pet some holiday treats from the table. Remember that people food can upset your pet’s stomach and some foods can even cause major illness or death. Keep fatty foods like turkey or ham down to a minimum and totally avoid onions, onion powder, grapes, raisins and chocolate. Best rule of thumb is to keep people food for people, and if in doubt, don’t share!
Holiday Parties: The noise and activity of a holiday party might confuse a pet. Provide a retreat away from festivities and check on them periodically.
Christmas Eve Adoption Event:
December 24, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Animal League America: $50 adoption fees for the first 75 approved adopters
North Shore Animal League America
25 Davis Avenue
Port Washington, NY 11050
These puppies were featured on the PIX11 Morning News: