LIVINGSTON, NJ – Festive celebrations, food and décor are hallmarks of the holiday season, but the most wonderful time of the year also can pose safety concerns for dogs, cats and other household pets, according to Choice Pet of Livingston.
Corey Druskin, manager of Choice Pet, offers the following tips for keeping pets safe, healthy and happy throughout the holiday season:
· Secure the Christmas tree. Cats love to climb and excited animals can potentially knock a tree over, causing injury. It’s also wise to hang tinsel, garland, lights and ornaments out of a pet's reach to avoid ingestion.
· Don’t deck the halls with harmful plants. Many living holiday plants – including mistletoe, holly, amaryllis and poinsettias – can be harmful or even toxic to pets. Research which varieties could pose a hazard, and keep those plants out of a pet’s reach or out of the home entirely.
· Provide a quiet place to retreat. The noise and excitement typical with large holiday gatherings can overwhelm dogs and cats. Provide the family pet with a safe, quiet space away from the commotion.
· Skip the leftovers. Everyone likes to indulge during the holidays, but bones and fatty trimmings can be dangerous to a pet. Avoid offering chocolate and foods containing artificial sweeteners as well.
· Take care with cocktails. Don’t leave unattended alcoholic beverages where a pet can reach them; if ingested, the effects of alcohol on a pet can be serious.
· Never leave candles unattended. To avoid a fire or burn hazard, never allow pets near lit candles without proper supervision. For those who celebrate Chanukah, keep the menorah on a secure surface and out of reach from pets.
· Take precautions during winter weather. If it’s too cold outside for a person, then it’s also too cold for a pet. Keep walks as short as possible, and snuggle up and stay warm inside.
· Cover electrical cords. Holiday lights are a beautiful tradition, but some pets enjoy gnawing on the wires. Make sure cords and wires are out of harm’s way.
· Keep pets calm during fireworks. New Year’s Eve celebrations often involve fireworks displays. Pets may become frightened by the explosive noise, so be sure to keep them inside where they are safe and secure.
“Our knowledgeable employees respect the deep and important bond pets and their ‘guardians’ share,” said Druskin. “At Choice Pet, we are dedicated to helping our customers make informed and thoughtful choices, and are available to make recommendations, provide information and offer guidance based on each pet’s specific needs.”
Choice Pet of Livingston, located at 277 Eisenhower Parkway in The Shoppes at Livingston Circle, is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.