Holidays can be a dangerous time for your pets, say experts

Holidays can be a dangerous time for your pets, say experts

Christmas decorations and festivities can be hazardous to pets in the house.

During all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holiday schedules, it can be easy to forget about your pets and their safety during the festivities, and experts have a few tips to make sure you and your furry friends have a special time.

As reported on City Sentinel, Dr. Elisabeth Giedt, director of Continuing Education, Extension and Community Engagement at the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences at Oklahoma State University says it is important to keep the exercise and eating schedules for your pets as close to normal as you can.

And, she warns, there are a number of dangers to pets present during the season that need to be monitored, and even the family Christmas tree poses some hazards.  Not only the obvious hazard of a tree falling or being turned over by a pet, but the water under a live tree can contain fertilizer or other chemicals that may sicken your pet if ingested.  Not to mention the stagnant water containing bacteria that may cause nausea or diarrhea in a pet who drinks it.

Strings of electrical cords could be enticing for some pets, and you should try to place them in areas that are hard for a pet to access. or try taping the cords in place to prevent possible entanglement or electrocution.

Lighted candles present their own set of dangers to pets and to the actual home.  Burning candles can be dangerous to pets who like to investigate, and the possibility of a candle being knocked over and causing a house fire is real.  Try using flame-less candles instead when you have active pets in the house, and avoid scented candles that can be problematic to some birds because of their efficient respiratory systems.

Some traditional Christmas plants, such as mistletoe and poinsettias can be toxic to your pets as well, causing gastronomical distress and in the case of mistletoe, can even result in cardiovascular problems.  Try using artificial plants in place of the real ones.

And, any vet will tell you to avoid allowing pets to sample the fare at the holiday table, but also be aware that they may be drawn to foods that have been discarded, so keep the trash can lids on tight or the cans out of reach of pets, and especially any alcohol, which could possibly induce pets into a coma if ingested.

Giedt adds the holidays are all about family, and your pets certainly qualify as family members, so keeping them safe during the season should be a top priority.  She also invites everyone to think about adopting a pet from a shelter during the Christmas season, noting animal shelters have thousands of loving pets waiting for someone to take them home.

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