12/23/07 — Holiday pet precautions

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Holiday pet precautions

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on December 23, 2007 2:00 AM

From Wayne County Animal Control

Christmas is a wonderful time of year. But make sure it's a wonderful time for your pets, as well. The decorations, food, and festivities can add up to disaster for your companion animal. The American Humane Society and the Wayne County Animal Control Department offer the following advice.

*Make sure Christmas trees are secure so that climbing cats or dogs with wagging tails can't knock over the tree.

*Hang breakable, glass ornaments well out of reach because the small glass and metal fastenings can be stepped on or swallowed.

*Keep tinsel, ribbons, and garland out of reach of pets, especially cats that are intrigued by them. These can become lodged in their intestines.

*Clean up pine needles frequently. They can be toxic when eaten by your pet.

*Prevent your pet from drinking water in the tree stand if you have added preservative chemicals. These can be poisonous to pets. Also, stagnant water can contain bacteria, which may lead to vomiting and diarrhea if ingested.

*Although house plants they add a warm touch, many plants can harm your pets. Keep these potentially dangerous bloomers well out of reach. Lilies, poinsettias, mistletoe, holly ivy, amaryllis and hibiscus can cause problems.

*Keep lights and extension cords safely secured or covered to deter chewing, which can lead to electric shock or even electrocution. Better yet, invest in pet-proof extension cords, or spray with products such as Bitter Apple or Chew Stop.

*Candles can be fragrant and enticing to pets. But they can be a fire hazard if knocked over by an exuberant pet, and the fumes can be harmful to birds.

*Liquid potpourri and sachets, popular during the holidays, can be very dangerous. Exposure can cause skin or oral damage to your pet and may cause illness or death.

*Some pets love visitors and behave very well. Others may be fearful or aggressive. Plan for how your pet will react to visitors. A quiet room, away from the commotion, with water and food available will help fearful animals be more comfortable.