1) PETS DESERVE PRESENTS TOO. As the family gathers to open presents, include all members of the family – even those with paws. They deserve presents too.

2) LIMIT TABLE SCRAPS. When you have 10 dinner guests, and everyone from cousin Susie to aunt Gertrude are tossing table scraps to the family dog or cat, you’ll have one sick pet. Remember, there can be too much of a good thing. However, sharing an appropriately moderate portion of holiday dinner isn’t a bad thing…too much can cause an upset tummy.

3) SOME HOLIDAY TREATS CAN BE DANGEROUS. Chocolate is toxic to pets; avocado is hazardous to birds. Dogs and cats can choke on chicken or turkey bones.

4) AVOID PRICKLY CHRISTMAS TREES. When choosing a tree, consider one with pet friendly needles such as Douglas fir or white pine. They won’t stick to your pet’s paws.

5) CLEAN UP TREE NEEDLES. Puppies and kittens can munch on errant needles, and can cause choking or stomach upset. Birds can become very ill, particularly after eating artificial tree needles.

6) NO CHEMICALS UNDER THE TREE. Don’t add chemical preservatives to prolong the life of your tree if pets have access to that solution. (Creatively placing a skirt around the tree may deter your pet being able to get to it)

7) HOUSE GUESTS. Some pets are social butterflies, others are not, and the constant flow of house guests may horrify your pets. cousin Susie and aunt Gertrude shouldn’t take this slight personally – and they shouldn’t force themselves on the pets.

8) KEEP HOLIDAY PLANTS OUT OF REACH. In truth, poinsettias are generally not poisonous, although too much may cause stomach upset. Holly and mistletoe are toxic, particularly the berries.

9) TINSEL IN THE TUMMY. Cats love to play with tinsel and ribbons; if they ingest enough of this glittery stuff, it can create serious gastrointestinal obstruction, and may be life threatening. Also keep glass ornaments up high, away from curious paws.

10) CANDLES IN THE WIND. Of course, placing a candle on a table may not prevent a curious cat from knocking it over. Aside from a real fire hazard, pets may singe their fur or feathers. Dripping wax can also burn paws.

Happy holidays !



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