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Newsletter: Seasonal Holiday Tips

1. No Bones Please: Avoid giving bones to your dogs and cats, particularly turkey bones. Poultry bones easily splinter and can cause serious injury, while bone fragments can cause intestinal blockages or lacerations.

 

2. Healthy Treats: Chocolate and other sweets should not be given to animals. Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical that can be toxic to cats and dogs, though not harmful to humans. The best thing you can do for your pets over the holidays is to keep them on their regular diet. Don’t use cookies or sweets meant for people.

 

3. Poisonous Plants: Many popular holiday plants are toxic to animals including mistletoe, holly, ornamental pepper and Christmas rose. Remember to keep these plants out of reach of pets.

 

4. Avoid Tinsel: If you have a Christmas tree and pets, you have a recipe for trouble. First, make sure the tree is well secured. Try to place decorations above paw height and use string to hang the bulbs instead of hooks. Try to use non-breakable ornaments. Avoid using tinsel or angel hair. Cats and dogs will ingest both, which can cause intestinal problems. Cords for lights should be inaccessible to pets. Chemicals added to the water reservoir of your tree can also be toxic to animals, so keep the reservoir covered.

 

5. Watch toys: Avoid purchasing pet toys with small or soft pieces that can be chewed and swallowed. Nylon bones tend to splinter less than plastic ones.

 

6. Dogs in Pick-up Trucks: Windchill plus slippery conditions, which result in higher accident rates, put your dog at risk. Bring your best friend up front in the cab, or leave him at home where it is warm.

 

7. Ice-free Water: If you keep any animals outdoors during winter weather, be sure their water supply is checked twice a day to keep it ice-free.

 

8. Anti-freeze: Many animals like the taste of antifreeze and will readily consume it when given the opportunity. However, antifreeze, even in the smallest amounts, can have a very harmful and often fatal effect on your pet.

 

9. Salt: The salt used to melt snow can irritate the pads of pets’ feet. Wipe off your pets’ feet before they lick their paws.

 

10. Warm Engines: Cats and wildlife gravitate to warm engines during cold winters. Be sure to bang your hood or honk your horn to avoid injuring an animal in your engine.

Please have a safe and happy holiday season.

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