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ABC's Of Holiday Pet Safety
Author Unknown

An Alphabetical Guide to Protecting Your Pet this Holiday Season

A is for "Alcohol," which should never be given to pets in the form of eggnog or other holiday beverages. In addition to disorienting a pet and causing distress, alcohol can lead to serious medical problems.

B is for the "Belly Ache" your pet will get if you feed her holiday table scraps.

C is for "Chocolate," especially dark, which should be avoided at all costs due to an ingredient called "theobromine" that can cause serious gastrointestinal problems in dogs and cats, and, in some cases, can be fatal.

D is for "Decorations." They help bring holiday cheer to a home, but be sure to hang them in places where they don't pose a danger to your pet.

E is for the "Electrical Cords" used with Christmas tree lights and decorations. Pets who chew through them can electrocute themselves. Apply a repellent, like bitter apple spray, if your pet won't stay away.

F is for the "Fat" found in turkey, ham and other holiday meats. Too much of a good thing brings tummy aches!

G is for the "Guests" that come over for holiday dinners and parties. Some pets love all the added attention, but some guests may not. During these stressful times it can be best to use an exercise
>>> pen or baby gate to keep pets at bay.

H is for "Holly," a pretty holiday plant that can be fatal to dogs, cats and birds.

I is for "Insecticide," which is often found on the trunk of live Christmas trees and gets into the water of tree stands. Don't let your pet drink this water; it can make him very ill.

J is for "Jerusalem Cherry," another holiday plant that's toxic for pets.

K is for "Keeping," as in keeping your dog or cat away from unfamiliar small children at holiday gatherings, unless there's an adult around to supervise.

L is for "Latch Key Pets," which is what a lot of dogs and cats become during the holidays as their people head off to Christmas get-togethers. So, be sure to set aside some quality time for your best friend this Yuletide season.

M is for "Mistletoe," which contains chemicals that can cause nausea, dehydration and elevated blood pressure in dogs and cats.

N is for the "Needles" that fall off a Christmas tree. Pick them up before your pet tries to eat them; their sharp edges can cut an animal's mouth and stomach lining...meaning an emergency trip to the vet.

O is for the "Ornaments." Avoid hanging glass ornaments on low branches where they're accessible to a curious dog. An ornament that breaks in a pet's mouth can cause serious trouble.

P is for "Poinsettia," the very popular holiday plant that's poisonous to pets.

Q is for "Quiet Room." Make sure your pet has one, so she can get away from the hustle and bustle of holiday gatherings.

R is for the "Rum" found in eggnog. Some pets, like ferrets, will be attracted to it, but don't let them imbibe, because it will make them sick.

S is for "Safety Barriers," such as baby gates, which you should consider putting around your tree if you have an especially curious pet.

T is for "Tinsel," one of the most dangerous decorations as far as pets are concerned. Dogs, cats, birds, pocket pets and other animals are attracted to its glitter, but if tinsel is ingested it can obstruct the intestines and require surgery to remove.

U is for "Under The Tree," an area that should be kept free of fallen needles, decoration hooks, tinsel and other pet hazards.

V is for "Veterinarian." Make sure you have an emergency number for a good veterinarian who will be on call during the holidays.

W is for "Wax." Be sure to put candles and other potentially hazardous decorations in a place where they can't be accidentally knocked over by pets.

X is for "Xenophobia," which means "fear or suspicion of strangers." Lots of pets have this. If new people are visiting your home during the holidays, give your pet time to get to know them, and don't force things.

Y is for "Yams," a Yuletide treat that's actually good for your pets -- in small quantities anyway.

Z is for "Zoo," which is what your home can resemble during this hectic, but fun, holiday season.


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