The County of San Diego Department of Animal Services is reminding residents that holiday decorations can pose serious safety hazards for pets, so the agency has offered the following tips on how to protect four-legged family members this season:
- Keep pets away from mistletoe, holly or poinsettias. They are toxic to animals.
- Chocolate can be toxic, so keep stockings out of reach and any chocolate cookies you might leave out for Santa.
- Anchor your Christmas tree so pets can’t tip it over. If you’ve used anything but tap water for the base of the tree, make sure they can’t drink it.
- Cats love to play with tinsel and curling ribbon but then they’ll try to eat it. Prevent a trip to the vet and keep both tinsel and curling ribbon away from cats–or don’t use it at all.
- Hide electrical cords from your pets and make sure they can’t play with or knock over any candles.
- Set aside a quiet room. Many dogs and cats get overwhelmed with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays. A quiet room allows them to escape and sleep undisturbed.
- Ringing in the New Year? Your dog needs a quiet, secure place on New Year’s Eve. The loud booms from fireworks can scare dogs. Some will do anything to escape the noise; they’ll run for miles and become lost. Create a safe place where they can hide out from the explosive sounds of the New Year and make sure your dog is wearing identification, just in case.
- Microchip both dogs and cats. They might slip out the door unnoticed while you’re busy greeting holiday visitors. If someone finds your lost pet or pets, a vet’s office or shelter can scan for a microchip and you’ll quickly be reunited. Animal Services offers microchippingTuesday through Sunday. The fee is $10 and includes national registration.
- Use your computer or smartphone and sign up for Finding Rover. This free service uses facial recognition to identify dogs and cats. If your pet gets lost, Finding Rover has the photo on file for anyone who may find him.
For more tips, visit County Animal Services’ Safety Tips for Every Season: Winter. You’ll be able to cross pet worries off your holiday list and enjoy the season.
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