Sunday, 22 December 2013

Top 10 tips for Christmas pet safety

Christmas can be a very dangerous time for your pets. Let's take a look at some simple steps that will allow your pets to join in the holiday fun this year. Here is how to keep your home pet-friendly during the festive season.

 
1. Place your Christmas tree in a corner, blocked off from your pet's wanting eyes. If this doesn't keep your dog or cat from attempting to jump onto the tree, you can place aluminium foil, a plastic drink bottle filled with knick knacks, or anything else that creates noise on the tree's bottom limbs to warn you of an impending tree disaster.

2. Take care with decorations. Just like young children, pets love the Christmas tree decorations. Especially if they can see their reflection in them. Dangling baubles are a great temptation to dogs and cats, but they may choke. In addition to being a choking and intestinal blockage hazard, shards from broken ornaments may injure paws, mouths, or other parts of your pet's body.

3. Tinsel can add a nice sparkling touch to the tree, but make sure you hang it up out of your pet's reach. Ingesting the tinsel can potentially block their intestines, which is generally only remedied through surgical means.
 
4.  Puppies, kittens and rabbits can be a little too inquisitive, so take care with party lights cords. The cord and the transformer are 240 volts. If you are really worried, don’t put lights on the tree's lower branches (I still do). Not only can your pet get tangled up in the lights, they are a burning hazard. Additionally, your dog or cat may inadvertently get shocked by biting through the wire. To prevent any accidental electrocutions, any exposed indoor or outdoor wires should be taped to the wall or the sides of the house.

5.  Avoid the temptation to share your Christmas dinner. Cooked bones and cured meat can play havoc with intestines. Onions, avocados, chocolate, nuts and grapes in particular are on the no-go list. Instead, give your pet a treat, such as a pet-friendly hamper or make some homemade dog biscuits.

6. For those buying a live Christmas trees this year, keep the area free and clear of pine needles. While they may not seem dangerous, the needles can puncture your pet's intestines if ingested.

7.  When decorating with plants, remember that some, such as red cyclamen and lilies, can be harmful to pets too. Holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs or cats. If you normally use these plants to decorate your home, they should be kept in an area your pet cannot reach.

8. Burning candles should be placed on high shelves or mantels, out of your pet's way -- there's no telling where a wagging tail may end up. Homes with fireplaces should use screens to avoid accidental burns.
9. When gift wrapping, be sure to keep your pet away. Wrapping paper, string, plastic, or cloth could cause intestinal blockages. Scissors are another hazard, and they should be kept off floors or low tables.

10. Keep dogs away from young children if they have a bone or item they will be protective about. When we give our dog a bone, she is separated from the children just in case she gets defensive.


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