Protect pets from holiday hazards

-- StatePointDecember 13, 2012 

You can bet that during the holiday season your pet is bound to sniff out leftovers, dig into the presents and have fun with all of your decorations. And while these holiday effects can spread cheer and joy amongst your human family members, they can be a real hazard to pets. This season, keep your holiday celebration safe, happy and healthy for pets by taking these key measures:

Decorate wisely

Avoid poisonous holiday plants like poinsettias and holly. There are plenty of toxic-free alternatives as evocative of the season as these traditional holiday favorites. If you must deck the halls with such plants, place them in an out of the way spot your pets can't reach and keep your pets away from those areas of your home.

Tinsel and gift ribbons are tempting for pets that like to play with shiny things, but when swallowed, such items can cause intestinal obstructions. Clean up after opening presents and vacuum around the tree to pick up any gift debris, as well as fallen pine needles which pose a similar hazard.

Avoid the problem

When it comes to the holidays, there's no need to be a Grinch in order to keep your celebration safe for pets. New technologies are making it easier to teach pets to stay away from certain areas of your home, both indoors and outside. For example, Invisible Fence Brand Micro Shields Avoidance Solutions are small mobile wireless units to train pets to avoid areas of the home or yard where they might get in trouble. And if you have multiple pets, you can set different rules for different pets.

So don't forgo that lovely holiday candle display just because you have a pet in your life. More information can be found at invisiblefence.com.

Watch your plate

As most great pet owners know, not all human foods are safe or healthy for pets. Pets can choke on bones in meat or fish dishes. And such foods as onions, macadamia nuts and chocolate -- which are commonly found in holiday cooking and baking -- are unsafe for dogs.

Avoid having your well-meaning guests sending Spot to the vet by laying ground rules about sharing food.

Also, one man's trash is a pet's treasure, so be sure to keep the lid on the garbage secure.

By taking proper precautions, you can keep the holidays festive this year for both you and your pets.

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