Pets in Greater Danger over the Holidays

When it comes to the holidays, some of the most festive things for the family can be dangerous for the family pets, according to Modern Dog Magazine. On the face of it, sugar-free candy, ornaments dangling from the tree and tinsel seem safe enough, but in fact they’re not. It’s critical for pet owners to be aware of these dangers so that everyone – human and 4-legged alike – can really enjoy the “most wonderful time of the year.”

Chicago, IL – December 19, 2012 – Mood lighting can be festive, but candles are incredibly dangerous when mixed with animals. Due to their curious nature they will sniff or swat at a candle which can leave them singed, and raises the odds of starting a house fire from the knocked over flame. To err on the side of caution it’s best to use faux candles with batteries. If regular candles are a necessity for a gathering, make sure that they are up high enough that they are out of reach of pets.

When there are animals in the house some of the most innocuous trimmings on the tree can be a potential hazard. So, when it comes to tinsel, says the American Kennel Club, it’s best to leave it at the store. Shining silver tinsel is irresistible to cats and that can lead to – at best – a Christmas tree that suddenly is knocked down. At worst, a playful feline can eat it, which can lead to severe abdominal distress that may require emergency surgery.

Holiday plants should be kept out of the reach of animals, because poinsettias and mistletoe are dangerous for dogs. Likewise, when trying to extend the life of a Christmas tree don’t add toxic chemicals into the tree stand because dogs will often use that as a water source. Although potpourri is a lovely way to make a home smell enticing, it has the same effect on pets. Pets have been known to eat the fragrant wood chips or even drink the water, which can make them ill.

Rounding out the list of things to be aware of during the holidays is candy. Candy canes come in a clear wrapper that can block an animal’s intestines. Also, dogs (and some cats) have a natural affinity for chocolate, despite the unfortunate fact that it can make them very sick. Even non-sugar candy can be dangerous with pets around because often it will contain Xylitol–poisonous to animals.

Cats and dogs make everything a little more festive and fun, but during the holidays it’s a better idea to keep the things that naturally entice them out of their reach. Much like baby proofing the house is important to protect little ones, animals need the same consideration.

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