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Blog: Stuff the Bird, Not Your Pets!

Holiday pet safety tips from the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA.

As we gather with friends and family to celebrate the holidays, the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA hopes that the following tips will help you and your pet have a healthy, happy and enjoyable holiday season and a wonderful new year.

Tips for a Holiday Food Feast:

As we gather with friends and family to celebrate the holidays, here are some tips to make these festive occasions comfortable and safe for your pets.

  • Make your pet’s holiday extra yummy by giving them specialty pet treats in moderation — these days, you’ll find no shortage of goodies available to please every pet’s palate! Stop by our Pet Store and check out our selection of treats.
  • You may love to treat your pets to holiday leftovers, but any change in diet may cause indigestion! Older animals have more delicate digestive systems and more specific nutritional requirements.
  • Bones can tear up or obstruct your pet’s digestive system. Cooked turkey bones can easily splinter.
  • If your pet is used to eating leftovers, feed them without rich holiday sauces or spices. Fresh vegetables are always appropriate snacks.
  • Candy and sugar may also give your pet intestinal problems. Depending on the dose ingested, chocolate can be poisonous.
  • Crowds and holiday festivities may frighten some animals. If your pet does not like loud noise and large groups of people, set aside a safe and quiet place as a retreat. Cats are creatures of habit. Disruptions in the home during the holidays (such as rearranging the furniture) could cause your feline to stop using the litter box.

Safe Holiday Decorations:

After Thanksgiving, families may ring in the holiday season by setting up real or artificial trees — glittering towers of beauty that may tempt your pet to behave dangerously. Before you put the tree up, take a few moments to go over some safety precautions.

  • Choose the right spot. Secure your tree to the wall or ceiling, away from furniture that can serve as a springboard for your pet. Place it near an outlet so you don’t have to run electrical cords long distances.
  • Hide the cords. Chewing on cords may cause serious injury or burns. Secure electrical cords by positioning them higher than you pet can reach or hiding them with special covers.
  • Place ornaments out of your pet’s reach. Try to keep ornaments high on the tree, away from curious pets. Replace tinsel and garland, which may be dangerous if eaten by your cat or dog, with velvet bows or ribbons.
  • Sweep and water. Sweep up the pine needles that drop on the floor. Keep the tree watered, and turn the lights on only when you are at home. Discourage your pet from drinking the tree water.
  • Plant decorations. Choose holiday floral arrangements with your pet in mind. Common Yuletide plants such as poinsettias, mistletoe, ivy, and holly berries can be poisonous to cats and dogs. Lilies are highly toxic, and often fatal, to cats. Safe alternatives can include artificial flowers made from silk or plastic.
  • Candles. Keep candles out of your pet’s reach to prevent fire hazards and burns.

Cold Weather Safety Tips:

If you’re traveling over the hill and through the woods to your grandmother’s house—or anywhere else that wintry weather frequents — keep in mind the following cold weather tips:

  • Keep your pets indoors and provide a warm place to sleep.
  • More dogs are lost during winter than any other season; don’t let your dog off its leash during a snowstorm. Always have current identification on your pet.
  • Antifreeze is a lethal poison for cats and dogs so make sure to clean up any spills and wipe off any residue that may be on your pet.
  • You may want to keep your dog’s coat longer in the cooler months or get your pet a sweater for added warmth.

The Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA strongly encourages you not to purchase pets as gifts. Instead, purchase a gift certificate at The Pet Store to cover the cost of a shelter animal adoption. This will help ensure a positive match between person and pet and reduce the number of pets that are returned to us.

Happy Holidays from the staff and animals at the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Diana R Rising November 23, 2012 at 07:43 PM
This is a great article. I love the picture of the chihuahua being naughty and eating off the table.
ROBERT E. FISHBACK November 24, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Yes, this is a great article....as for me..no more real trees...the smell is nice but you get stuck to death when you un-decorate and haul it out. Can you believe that in the olden days, people put lit candles on the trees? In the 40's, the trees were spindely, not full.....pop corn chains were popular....Being onery and not the grown up I should be, I smiled at the title "Stuff your bird" Where ? Never mind...
ROBERT E. FISHBACK November 25, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Thanksgiving and Christmas are too close together, Also, in wrong order. Thanksgivng should follow Christmas because most people are glad Christmas is all over with. An even better idea would be to combine the holidays....put the turkey on the top of the tree instead of a star. When you try to picture this, it is funny. What is even funnier is to picture all of the people taking things back to the store to exchange the results of Black Friday. Maybe Black Friday produced some just right gifts....Black is too harsh; how about BROWN Friday.

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