Column: Keep pets safe while decking the halls


Commentary by Michael Graves

The holiday season is upon us, and many pet parents include their furry companions in the festivities. Before you haul out too much holly, take some precautions to keep your pets safe.

Oh, Christmas Tree

Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall. If possible, set up your tree in a room you can easily close off when you’re not home. Cats especially love tinsel, but swallowing tinsel can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery.

Be careful with seasonal plants like holly, mistletoe and poinsettias. When ingested, these holiday favorites can cause all kinds of stomach upset. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic.

That Holiday Glow

Fasten all your holiday lights to your tree, and place cords as much out of reach as possible. Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws’ reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock, and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus.

Don’t leave lighted candles unattended. That may seem easy, but it’s also easy to forget when people are extra busy around the holidays. When you leave the room, don’t forget to blow candles out!

Finally, your local veterinarian can offer medications to help keep pets calm during the stressful times of the holidays, so make sure to contact them.