Pet Safety Tips for Christmas

Here's fifteen tips to help keep your dog (or any other pets) safe during the christmas season. They will keep your holidays safe, healthy, and happy!

1. Anticipate your guest's arrivals and confine your dog to prevent it from escaping.

2. Reduce your dog's stress by maintaining its regular feeding and exercise routeine. You should also set aside a room for your dog to go during parties, because too much excitement or stress can cause stomach upset.

3. Place mystery packages out of reach. Dogs who smell food in a package are known to rip it open. Remember that food is the number one holiday hazard for dogs. The greasy and fatty foods that we eat can cause havoc on an animal's intestines.

4. Tell guests not to give your dog food from the dinner table. Remember that poultry skin, fat trimmings, rich gravies, and buttery sauces can cause sever vomitting, diarrhea, or even worse, a life threatening inflammation of the pancreas. Also, remember that an ounce of alcoholic beverage can put a small dog into a coma.

5. Stow chocolate candy or baking ingredients out of reach. Chocolate is the most common toxicity treat during the holidays. Small amounts cause vomiting and diarrhea. Larger amounts can cause above normal heart rythems, nervous system malfunctions, and even death.

6. Secure your garbage in bins with tight lids. A dog can chew up holiday throwaways which can result in intestinal perforation and/or obstruction.

7. Buy only decorating products (tree water preservatives and artificial snow) that are labeled non-toxic.

8. Put away children's toys after they are opened. Ingested toys can cause choking and intestinal blockage, and must usually be removed through surgery.

9. Secure large trees to the wall to preven tipping, or consider a smaller tree that can fit on a table top.

10. Remember that stomach upsets can be caused by popcorn and gumdrops, so avoid using these strings of edible decorations.

11. Fasten all your tree decorations securly, with the more fragile ones towards the top. Dogs who chew these can suffer cuts in their mouth. (I know this one from experience.)

12. Return paper and other gift wrapping materials to their storage places after gift wrapping is finished.

13. Place holiday plants out of reach and vacuum often. Poinsettia can cause drooling, oral pain, and vomitting. Mistletoe causes vomiting, labored breathing, shock, and death from cardiovascular collapse. When animals eat the needles from real or fake trees, they can also get intestinal blockage.

14. Display candles on high shelfs to avoid painful burns and singed whiskers.

15. Make sure that cords are tucked out of reach. Electricution can occur.

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