Holiday Safety: Watch out for pets in your merry festivities
This post is the fifth in a series about keeping your family and possessions safe this holiday season.
By Lt. Craig Anderson, CSPD Public Information Officer
A lot of people consider their pets to be valued members of their families. It’s especially important to treat them that way during the holidays.
Many of the fun and beautiful things we enjoy about Christmas can create hazards for your pets. The College Station Police Department’s Animal Control Division offers these basic tips to keep your beloved pet safe and sound amid all the joy and fun:
Hang breakables, tinsel, and other tempting decorations well out of paw’s reach. Tinsel, ribbon, and ornaments are especially dangerous to pets if chewed or swallowed, and electrical cords are even worse. Gnawing pets often try to chew the cords, which could lead to severe injuries or even death. Make sure your light strand, loose wires, and extension cords are out of reach.
It’s also wise to place your decorative holiday plants and candles clear of your pet’s reach. Some seasonal plants – such as mistletoe, holly berries, and poinsettias – are poisonous, and pets and candles just don’t mix. You should also keep your pets away from holiday treats, especially chocolate. Theobromine and caffeine, ingredients found in chocolate, are toxins and can be fatal to some animals.
A Christmas tree should stand on a flat, broad base. You may also consider anchoring the tree with fishing line tied to a ceiling or wall hook since curious cats often see trees as climbing posts. Needles from both live and artificial trees are indigestible and can cause illness. Don’t tempt your pet with edible ornaments, either.
If you have a live tree, be aware that water from the tree base can cause mouth sores, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Be sure to cover the bottom tightly with skirting to restrict access.
Provide a haven
If you plan to entertain family or friends, provide a haven where your pets can retreat when they get overly excited or could possibly escape. Encourage your guest to leave your pets alone when in their sanctuary.
When you travel
If you are going away and your pet is staying home, make arrangements for their care, check that they have proper identification, and make sure their enclosures are secure. Contact a reputable pet sitter or find a high-quality kennel that provides a safe, sanitary environment and has a qualified, caring staff.
If your pet travels with you, identify accommodations that allow pets by contacting the tourism agency at your destination. If traveling by car, provide frequent rest and water stops and bring proof of vaccinations. Always have current identification on your pet’s collar with an alternate phone number.
The College Station Police Department wishes you a safe and joyous holiday season.
About the Blogger
Lt. Craig Anderson is in his 30th year with the College Station Police Department.
Photo Copyright: dikushin / 123RF Stock Photo
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