Christmas and Chanukah Pet Safety

Dog Christmas

We think it’s important to remind you of pet safety during the holiday season. So we put together a few tips to help you.

Christmas tree ornaments and decorations should be placed high on the tree, if possible out the reach of pets. Try using ornaments that don’t shatter if they fall. Replace any hooks on ornaments with string to avoid your pet being hurt by them.

Tinsel is attractive to pets too, but there is the danger of choking.

Imitation snow is another hazard. Don’t use this toxic substance.

Rabbits, ferrets and other small pets, dogs and cats too, may chew on electrical cords. Try to disguise or cover them so that pets will ignore them. Better yet, try to keep your small pets out of the room where the tree sits.

Remember not to string food on the tree. This will definitely attract chow hounds and other pets as well.

The water that your tree may sit in is toxic to pets. Cover it so that pets can’t get into it.

Make sure your pets don’t eat the limbs or pine needles of the tree. They present intestinal dangers. Check for any dropped pine needles often and sweep them up.

Make sure your tree is secure and can’t fall over if nudged by a pet (or anyone else). You can place a hook in the ceiling above the tree and tie to the hook.

Don’t keep gifts of food under the tree. Pets have such keen senses of smell that wrappings won’t prevent them from detecting food.

Fireplaces and Chanukah candles can pose a hazard to pets. Place something in front of the fireplace to prevent your pet from getting too close. Keep a close watch on Chanukah candles and make sure they won’t fall over. Place the menorah on a non-flammable tray away from paper, curtains, decorations and any flammable material. Put the menorah where your pets can’t reach it.

Dreidels are small objects and pose a choking hazard to a pet. Be careful when playing with them.

Imported snow globes contain anti-freeze which is highly toxic to all pets. Be sure to keep them out of reach of pets. Small children should be supervised when playing with them.

Strings, ribbons, wrapping paper, all can be hazardous to pets. Have something handy to dispose of these objects once the gifts are open.

After lighting candles, place matches under running water to make sure they are out before throwing them in the trash. Remember that candles can remain hot and flammable for a while after they go out.

Check smoke alarms at the start of holidays.

Keep all people food out of reach of your pets, especially bones, chocolate, nuts and alcohol. We have a list of poisonous items and the ASPCA has a complete list of all the foods and plants
toxic to your pets. It’s a good idea to remind visitors that the rules are no feeding pets any food. They may not be aware of what is toxic to pets. And rich holiday foods can cause tummy upsets, even pancreatitis, which is a serious matter.

Remember to place garbage in a place where your pet can’t reach it. And keep the lid tightly closed.

Holiday time is visiting time for friends and family. This means your door will be opened and closed many times bringing good cheer. Please be sure your pet won’t take the open door as an invitation to run outside. Train him/her in the down/stay or keep your pet confined behind a gate or closed room. Be sure to leave fresh water and some toys. Give your pet lots of loving so that he understands he is not being punished. A few practice exercises in the room before holiday time helps.

Some visitors may have allergy problems or are fearful of pets. When you invite people to your home, be sure to let them know you have a pet or pets and the types.

Many parts of the country experience icy weather this time of year. Chemicals or salt may be applied to icy sidewalks so that no one slips. Your dog’s paws can be damaged by these chemicals. When you come home, immediately wash your dog’s paws in warm water and dry them thoroughly. I recommend the PawPlunger which is like a mini-carwash and does an excellent job without hassle. There are also doggie boots available for those nasty days.

We want you and your pets to have a happy and healthy holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah to all.

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