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Holiday Safety Tips for Pet Owners

The holidays are in full swing. Is your pet ready to face the myriad of hazards that crop up this time of year? Use these tips from your Niwot, CO veterinary professional to keep your four-legged friend safe from harm.

Tree Tips

Use caution when decorating your holiday tree—many pets will see shiny tinsel and tree ornaments as fun playthings. Unfortunately, tinsel can cause intestinal blockage, and ornaments can break into sharp pieces that could cut a pet. If necessary, place these decorations on the highest parts of the tree where pets can’t reach, or leave them off entirely.

Also restrict your pet’s access to your tree’s base (if you decorate with a live tree). The anchor may contain stagnant water that is a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Plus, sharp pine needles in this area may be ingested by pets, and these can actually puncture the intestinal lining when swallowed.

Candle Caution

Do you light candles to set a festive holiday ambience? Make sure to place them in areas where pets don’t have easy access. It’s very easy for pets to accidentally swipe an errant tail through an open flame, potentially causing burns. Plus, pets may be startled into knocking over the candle, possibly starting a fire! Try placing candles on high shelves where pets aren’t likely to go.

Toxic Food Trouble

Your holiday dinner table is chock full of foods that pets shouldn’t have. The list includes onions, garlic, chives, grapes, raisins, chocolate, candy, certain types of nuts, caffeine, and many more. Never leave such foods out on tabletops or counters where pets could snag them down; in fact, it’s safest to keep your pet out of the kitchen during meal preparation and dinnertime in order to avoid any danger.

Alcohol Awareness

Will your holiday celebrations include alcoholic beverages? Remember that alcohol is extremely dangerous for pets. It affects them the same way it affects humans, except that very small amounts can do serious damage. Keep a close eye on all liquor, beer, wine, and champagne to make sure that pets don’t have a chance to ingest any. Even certain foods made with alcohol—glazed items, rum-soaked pastries, etc.—may present a hazard.

From all of us here at your Niwot, CO veterinary clinic, happy holidays! Please feel free to contact us with any further questions you may have regarding your pet’s safety during the holiday season.

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