Monday, December 14, 2009

Avoid Holiday Hazards: Keep Your Pets Safe And Secure

(NAPSI)-Here are some noteworthy tips from pet experts at North Shore Animal League America, the world's largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization, on keeping your "best friends" happy and safe during the winter holiday stretch.

• Candles or any open-flame objects should be kept far out of your pets' reach and never left unattended. That tempting flicker may attract pets, putting them at risk for burns or--even worse--knocking it over and starting a fire.

• Shimmering tinsel is a huge temptation for pets, especially cats. Ingesting tinsel or ribbons can not only lead to stomach aches, it can get wrapped around your pets' intestines, causing major problems, which may require surgical intervention. Wrapping paper and glass ornaments may also pose threats. If eaten, these can cause depression, upset stomach, vomiting or diarrhea. Glass ornaments can cause internal bleeding if shards make internal cuts. So be certain to keep these items out of your pets' reach.

• A holiday tree can be a problem. If it's not properly secured, a curious kitty or peeping pooch can knock it over. Water from your holiday tree can also pose problems, so keep it covered. Often, tree water may contain fertilizers or preservatives which can lead to an upset stomach. Pine needles are also dangerous if swallowed, as they are sharp and have the potential to puncture intestines.

• Holly, evergreens and mistletoe are common holiday plants that are toxic to pets. Poinsettia, though not truly poisonous, can cause gastric upset if its sap is ingested. Use good judgment in placing these plants.

• Electrical cords are another potential holiday hazard. Chewing on them can deliver a harmful jolt, burns, abnormal heartbeat, even death. It's best to have all cords secured and out of the way.

• Remember that people food and beverages can upset pets' stomachs and some can even cause major illness or death. Keep fatty foods such as turkey or ham down to a minimum and totally avoid onions, onion powder, grapes, raisins and chocolate. The best rule of thumb is to keep people food and beverages for people.

You can learn more about pet health and safety and pet adoptions and how you can help North Shore Animal League America by visiting

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