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Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

Holiday dangers for pets

Thursday, November 15, 2012

As the pages of the calendar flip and we move closer to the holiday season, pet owners should be aware of common -- but hidden -- dangers to their pets as we transform our homes for the celebrations to come.

The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy for our families, but in preparing for the season, many pet owners run the risk of exposing their pets to household dangers that could present potential life-threatening hazards to their pets.

A list of prospective risks include:

*Decorations -- While holiday decorations can make a home feel more festive, they can be tantalizing traps for pets. Pet owners should keep decorations and ornaments higher up on trees so they are not consumed by pets. If a pet decides the colorful garland or tree trim might make a tasty snack, they can and will get stuck in your pet's intestines, necessitating immediate surgical removal. Moreover, exposed cords from electric lights can cause electrocution or oral burns if chewed.

*Gift Wrap -- When it's time to pull all the gifts out of hiding to be wrapped, take care that your pet isn't in the room as you spread out all the wrapping paper, bows and ribbons. If a cat should starting gnawing on the ribbon, it will literally "stitch" the cat's intestines together as it is being passed through the gut.

*Holiday Feast -- While turkey and ham make up the majority of traditional holiday meals, turkey and ham bones can become lodged in the intestines if swallowed in large pieces. Be careful that your guests don't give in to the holiday spirit too much and choose this time to offer table scraps to your pets. Your pet could become seriously ill or even choke to death.

*Flowers -- The poinsettias many choose to use as holiday centerpieces are also toxic to most household pets if they are chewed and swallowed in large enough quantities.

The best holiday gift you could give your pet is a hazard-free household so they can enjoy the warmth and joy of your celebrations safely and soundly.