The decorations are up and the celebrations are underway, but don’t let the joys of the season be dangers for your pets. Here are our tips for keeping your holidays holly and jolly and your pets safe and sound:

Christmas Trees: Be sure to secure your tree so it will not tip over.

Cocktails: If your holiday celebrations include alcoholic beverages don’t leave them within reach of pets. Alcohol can pose many health risks for pets including respiratory failure.

Leftovers: While it is tempting to share those tasty holiday treats with your four legged friends, it is not a good idea. Their diets are not accustomed to the rich, fatty and spicy flavors and can cause gastrointestinal pain and problems. Be sure to also keep pets away from the food table, unattended plates and leftovers.

Candles: Just as you would not leave a child unattended with a candle that is within reach, likewise you should not leave pets near lit candles. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock the candle over.

Mistletoe: Holly and Mistletoe can be great additions to your seasonal décor, yet can be a danger to pets. Both can cause nausea and vomiting along with gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular disease. Lillies are life threatening to cats when ingested as well.

Tinsel: This is every cat’s favorite Christmas decoration. It is sparkly “toy” that is easy to chase and bat around. Not all that glitters is gold though. Tinsel is easily ingested and obstructs the digestive track and can result in surgery.

Toys: If you are looking to stuff your pet’s stocking this year, be sure to fill it with safe toys. If you are searching for the perfect dog toy, select one that is durable. The stuffed toy varieties are usually easily torn and the stuffing many times gets lodged in the stomach. When shopping for cat toys select a ball that is too big to be swallowed. While ribbons and yarn are a cat’s dream, they are easily ingested and more often than not and can require surgery to be removed.

Wires and Ornaments: These should always be kept out of paw’s reach. Never let your pet chew on an electrical cord. The exposed wire could cause a lethal shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the pet’s mouth. Likewise a broken ornament can damage your furry friends’ paws and mouth.

Noise: The noise and hustle and bustle can be too much for some pets. Be sure to give them their own place to retreat to when they need an escape. Be sure to dedicate a space for this that is complete with water and a warm place to snuggle.

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