Keep pets safe during the holiday season
The winter holidays are a wonderful time for people, but it can be a stressful and potentially dangerous time for your pets. The following tips will help you and your pets enjoy a happy and safe holiday season.
• Secure the Christmas tree to a wall other stable object to prevent your cat or dog from knocking it over.
• Hang breakables, tinsel, and other tempting decorations well out of paw's reach. Tinsel, ribbon, and ornaments are especially dangerous to pets if they chew or swallow them.
• Route electrical cords through PVC pipe to discourage playing or chewing by curious pets.
• Place holiday plants out of pet's reach. Many seasonal plants are poisonous, including mistletoe, holly and poinsettias.
• Some chemicals that extend the life of trees are poisonous. Cover the treated area with a section of window screen.
Treats to Eat
• Keep candy, especially chocolate, away from your pets as it is toxic for animals and can cause vomiting, restlessness, heart disturbances, and even death. Tell children not to share candy with the family pet. If you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate or other candy that causes discomfort, consult your veterinarian immediately.
• Poultry bones splinter and can be dangerous for pets to chew.
• Pork dishes are rich and will often upset your pet's digestive system.
• Give pets a few of their favorite pet treats during special meals or at parties instead of people food.
Gifts and Goodies
• Avoid toys with small parts or those made of soft materials that pets can chew up and swallow.
• Give your dog nylon-type chews. Hard plastic dog bones can splinter or shed fragments that dogs swallow. Nylon doesn’t splinter and can last longer.
• Don't put catnip or other edibles in hanging stockings (especially if they're by the fire.) Better stocking stuffers are city animal license tags, collars, leashes, beds, and bowls.
• Don't forget the homeless animals. Our shelter animals always need donations of food and toys. It's an excellent way to teach children generosity towards those less fortunate.
Reduce the Chances of Losing Your Pet
• Confine your pets in a quiet room away from parties and family gatherings. Pets, especially dogs, are easily excitable or may feel threatened by unfamiliar people.
• Opening the front door many times during the evening provides opportunities for pets to slip through and run outside.
• Confining dogs will also reduce the chances of them biting the guests.
Pets and Alcohol Don't Mix
• Don't give alcohol to pets. While adult humans have the body mass to adjust to alcohol's effects, pets don't. Any alcohol given to pets is dangerous and too much can be fatal.
For further information, please contact Newport News Animal Services at (757) 595-7387, visit our website at www.nnva.gov/756/Animal-Services or contact your local veterinarian. The Newport News Animal Services office is located at the Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter at 5843 Jefferson Avenue.