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Honey Do List: Holiday paws

Christmas and other holidays can certainly be stressful for us, but what about the pets who find their space invaded by strange visitors, trees in the house, funny-looking packages and unfamiliar smells of candles, food and potpourri?

Why, it’s enough to send a canine to the crazy-house.

More than 79 million U.S. households (65 percent) have at least one pet. More than 54 million have a dog, and more than 42 million have a cat. This information is easily found at www.humanesociety.org, along with quite a few other amazing facts concerning pets.

These statistics are why we need to look at some holiday safety tips for the four-legged members of the family who don’t understand that they shouldn’t play with shiny glass balls, chew on electrical cords and eat chocolate candy dropped by the kids. You can’t watch them constantly, so use caution and everyone can have a happier holiday.

Dogs and cats should never be allowed to eat or chew on batteries, snow globes (may contain anti-freeze), styrofoam, plastic wrap, twist ties, ribbon, children’s toys, medicine or medicine bottles. People food such as table scraps can cause a pet to gain weight. Chicken bones can splinter and do terrible damage to gums and digestive systems. Never give a pet chocolate, as it can be toxic to dogs and cats. Plants such as holly, poinsettia and mistletoe are also toxic and should be kept out of reach. If you notice diarrhea or vomiting, a trip to the vet is in order.

When decorating your tree, place breakable ornaments higher up and out of reach. Cats love to climb, so make your tree stable and secure, even if you have to tie it off to the wall. Real food decorations (strung popcorn) can be a real attraction and could result in a toppled tree.

If your pet is nervous around strangers, it’s a good idea to invest in an indoor kennel that can be kept in an unused room. Familiarize your pet with these arrangements ahead of time and provide plenty of water and favorite toys or blankets.

It’s very easy to get busy this time of year and forget little things that can have a huge impact. Always be safety-minded, and remember, help is just around the corner at your local hardware store.  

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