Five tips to protect your pets from holiday hazards

About 6 weeks ago, I brought home a dog from rescue. It’s been a few years since I last had a dog — and I’m very ready.

But it’s been taking him time to get settled, to learn our routine and to feel at home.

Just when that started to happen, we went and messed it up…by putting up a tree!

Our pets know something is up this time of year. As we change our homes, shuffle our schedules for holiday celebrations, and have more people in and out, their lives are disrupted too.

That’s why the ASPCA stresses continuity for your pets over the holidays. Pets will be happier if exercise and eating schedules stay as close to normal as possible.

And then, there’s safety. These simple ASPCA tips can help you protect pets from holiday hazards…

1. Put holiday plants out of reach. Holly, mistletoe, poinsettia, and lilies are toxic if dogs or cats eat them.

2. Keep pets away from the Christmas tree. Easier said than done, right? But curious dogs and cats like to chew on light cords, tinsel, and ornaments.

3. Make sure the tree water isn’t accessible to pets. The water breeds bacteria and contains fertilizer residue.

4. Ribbon, yarn, and confetti are potentially dangerous. If pets chew or swallow these items, it can cause intestinal blockage.

5. You’re probably aware that chocolate can be toxic to dogs. But it doesn’t agree with cats either. The same goes for the alternative sweetener xylitol. Keep all chocolate and xylitol products away from cats and dogs.

Wishing you — and your pets — a merry Christmas and happy holiday season from everyone at HSI.

“Holiday Safety Tips” ASPCA,

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