Keep Pets Safe This Holiday Season

 With Christmas right around the corner, it’s important to remember the holidays can pose some dangers to pets. Starke County Humane Society Director Shanna Lloyd says there are a few steps you can take to keep pets safe.

She says a good place to start is with the Christmas tree, “You would probably want to make sure that you either set it in a corner or you have anchored it, so that if your cat or your dog decide to jump up into the tree that it isn’t knocked over and actually lands on the pet and injures them.”

Lloyd says decorating a tree with tinsel can also be hazardous to pets, “Cats are very drawn to that shiny tinsel. And since it sits loosely on the tree it’s easy for them to pick off of it, and if ingested, it will most likely lead to an obstructed digestive tract, which could require surgery.” She also recommends that pet owners tape electrical wires to the wall to keep pets from chewing on them.

Lloyd says chocolate and the artificial sweetener xylitol are toxic to pets at high levels, but those aren’t the only things that can cause problems, “You have some poisonous holiday plants, especially mistletoe and holly and lilies. Those are all extremely toxic. Poinsettias have a mild toxicity. So if any of those plants are ingested, again you may be looking at surgery or possibly losing your pet.”

She says holiday parties can also pose particular challenges for pets, “If you’re bringing over the family, especially during the holidays, and you’ll have a crowd, pick a safe place for your pet to stay during those activities. It will be easier on them. They’ll be more calm, and that way, you also don’t risk them maybe running out the door while people are going in and out.”

Lloyd also suggests that candy not be placed on low tables where pets can easily get at it.