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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Avoid pet-caused disasters this holiday season

Do your  children get excited when the Christmas tree and holiday decorations come out?  Does the look in the eyes of your four-legged kids also show that once-a-year curiousness combined with a mischievousness that makes you scared to leave your pets alone in your  festively-decorated house? 

With a dog and four (indoor-only) cats in my home, it took me years to find the courage to put up a Christmas tree, but last year, I did it.  We even hung stockings that dangled from the fireplace. And, as expected, I saw five sets of eyes filled with wonder and awe.
I swear that a couple of those younger feline eyes looked at that big tree and then at me and my husband, and I knew they were saying, “All of those toys strung up that high in a tree just for me??!!” 

Like most issues with pets, it’s we pet parents that need the training to avoid problems.  The holiday season brings some specific in-home fire dangers that your pets may inadvertently cause if you are not careful.  Follow these tips to keep you and your two and four-legged family members safe this season.
Secure the Christmas tree: Make sure your Christmas tree is secured and weighed down so that curious cats and dogs can't knock it over easily. Always supervise your pet around the tree, especially if your tree is decorated with lights.  Remember, the lights can dry out your tree more quickly, causing increased fire danger.  (Bonus tip: While not a fire danger, prevent your pets from drinking the tree water as it can cause severe  gastrointestinal problems).

Tie back or tape down electric cords: Seasonal decorations often mean more electrical cords around the house.  These cords are tempting toys for pets—- especially domestic rabbits who like to chew cords. Secure your cord to avoid electrical shorts as well as pets getting tangled in cords and accidentally pulling down a heated decoration or device.

Keep open flames inaccessible to pets:Tis the season for candles, Menorahs, fireplaces, and more cooking on gas stoves and in ovens.  Make certain your pets do not have access to flames and are never left unattended with candles or fireplaces lit.  Your pets beautiful fur and flames are enemies.

In addition to keeping our pets and house safe from seasonal hazards, veterinary experts also advise having a “safe room” for your pets to avoid the hustle and bustle of holiday visitors, if they choose.  Having one room that is not decorated and is safe and peaceful for your pets during the holidays is a perfect gift to make their season bright.  

Blog by Toni Eberhardt

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