Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Keep Your Pets Safe During the Holidays

Photo from the LA Department of Animal Services

The Los Angeles Department of Animal Services is reminding everyone that while the holidays can be fun for your furry family members, too…safety is also important.  Here are some handy holiday safety tips for your pets:

1.  Beware of décor 

Our beloved pets often see holiday décor as something to play with or eat that can be very dangerous to them. Tinsel, if consumed, can cause intestinal blockage and breakable ornaments and other glass decorations can cause injuries. Put tinsel and fragile decorations up high and out of reach from your pet. Be careful of electric lights and wires that can cause burns if the cords are chewed.

If you put up a Christmas tree consider tying it down to a door frame so your pet doesn’t tip it over. If the tree is real, keep the water covered and inaccessible. Tree water may contain fertilizer and other harmful chemicals.

2.  Flowers and festive plants

You probably worry over poinsettias making your pets sick, the truth is that these festive plants only cause mild to moderate gastrointestinal irritation. However, there are other seasonal foliage that you should be more wary of such as amaryllis, holly, lilies and mistletoe that can be dangerous and even poisonous to pets who decide to eat them.

3.  Holiday feasts

We have a tendency to include our pets in our holiday meals, which often results in overindulgence. Even when we don’t purposely include them, the agile and creative dog or cat can capture a special treat from the kitchen counter, trash or even the dining room table.
Dogs and cats suffer very serious and sometimes fatal consequences from turkey or chicken bones, too much rich and fatty foods, yeast dough, chocolate and just plain overeating. Instead of giving your companion animal leftovers, stop by a pet food store and purchase some new dog biscuits or cat treats.

4.  Keep away from noisemakers

While celebrating, it is easy to forget that loud noises and celebratory poppers or noisemakers can scare your furry friend. Even if your pet doesn’t seem obviously upset by noisemakers and fireworks, they can still cause harm to pets if burned or if they accidentally ingest them. Try creating a safe place in your home where your pet can have some quiet space if needed.

5.  Plan ahead

If you are not going to be home or in the room with your pet, unplug decorations and take out the trash to make sure your pet doesn’t sneak any food scraps. If your pet is not acting like himself or herself, consult your veterinarian and make sure you know how to get to your 24/7 emergency veterinary clinic before there’s an emergency.

Always make sure your pet has up-to-date identification. If for any reason your pet escapes during the holiday chaos, a collar with a current license and/or ID tag on them and a microchip that’s registered with your contact information, will help reunite you with your companion animal.

By keeping these precautions in mind, the holiday season can be enjoyable and safe instead of stressful for you and your two and four-legged family members.

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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and is the co-owner/publisher of the Buzz.

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