LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA — Holidays and home baked treats go hand but too many pets get into the goodies that can be extremely harmful, according to Laguna Niguel Veterinarian, Dr. Christina Haney. The owner of Alicia Pacific Veterinary Center promises that paying attention to the foods you leave out can mean the difference in delight or disaster in your home.
Though most pet owners know that chocolate can be toxic to dogs, there are little known dangers with the re-gifting favorite, fruitcake.
“Fruitcake contains raisins, currants and alcohol which can be dangerous to pets,” Haney said in a recent public announcement. “Also be sure and keep your Christmas lights out of reach of your pets.”
Tree lights can shock a pup who loves to chew. What other pet safety tips should local pet owners know about?
- Keep pets away from mistletoe, holly or poinsettias. They are toxic to animals.
- Keep stockings out of reach of pets, as well as any chocolate cookies you might leave out for Santa, because those can be toxic to pets, too.
- Anchor your Christmas tree so pets can’t tip it over. If you’ve used anything but tap water for the base of the tree, make sure they can’t drink it.
- Keep both tinsel and curling ribbon away from cats or don’t use them at all, because cats love to play with tinsel and curling ribbon, but also may try to eat it.
- Hide electrical cords from your pets and make sure they can’t play with or knock over any candles.
- Set aside a quiet room. Many dogs and cats get overwhelmed with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays. A quiet room allows them to escape and sleep undisturbed.
- Give dogs needs a quiet, secure place on New Year’s Eve. The loud booms from fireworks can scare dogs. Some will do anything to escape the noise; they’ll run for miles and become lost. Create a safe place where they can hide out from the explosive sounds of the New Year and make sure your dog is wearing identification, just in case.
- Microchip your pet. They might slip out the door unnoticed while you’re busy greeting holiday visitors. If someone finds your pet, a vet’s office or shelter can scan for a microchip and you’ll quickly be reunited with your pet. Animal Services offers microchipping from 1 to 3 p.m. each Thursday, excluding holidays. The $10 fee includes national registration.
- Use your computer or smartphone and sign up for Finding Rover, a free service that uses facial recognition to identify lost dogs. If your pet gets lost, Finding Rover has the photo on file for anyone who may find him.
By following these tips, you may be able to cross pet worries off your holiday list.
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