By LISA MENDHEIM
Animal Care and Adoption
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. With holiday festivities well under way, Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Division offers these five important holiday safety tips for your dog and cat.
1. Food! Chocolate candy, chocolate/cocoa products and other foods like grapes, onions, raisins, and the artificial sweetener Xylitol can make your pet very sick.
Keep these items out of “striking distance” of your dog and cat and NEVER place these goodies under the tree! Having a buffet spread for your friends and family? Secure the area so that your pets cannot have their own private celebration. And don’t forget about the trash can and garbage bags-a pet’s paradise, but a sure-fired way for him to get very sick!
2. Holiday Decorations. All of those traditional holiday plants, like poinsettias, can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Large branches and leaves from the plants can also become stuck in the intestinal tract of your pet.
Place all foliage on high shelves or areas away from your dog or cat. In addition, make sure your tree is secured so that it can’t topple over onto curious pets. If you add preservative to the tree’s water, place screening over the tree’s bowl so pets cannot drink it–the formula typically has small amounts of fertilizer in it. Got wreaths, garlands, glass ornaments and small bells?
Hang these items well out of a paw’s reach. Tinsel, ribbon and ornaments are especially dangerous to pets if they chew or swallow them.
3. Alcohol and Medications. No “high” times for pets! Keep the eggnog, brandy, wine, beer and other “spirits” out of the reach of thirsty dogs and catsthat includes Grandma’s traditional rum cake! Also, remember that while a bottle of alcohol may be sealed and closed, the punch bowl on the buffet table looks like one very super cool and accessible “water bowl” to your dog or cat (so’s that unsupervised glass of Holiday Mead)! Got in-laws and numerous cousins staying over? Remind them to keep ALL prescription medicines locked up and out of the way of nosy pets-including the over-the-counter stuff.
4. Electrical Cords and Wires. Keep them hidden, or route them through PVC pipe to ensure your pet doesn’t play with or chew them. Be especially mindful of phone chargers; ear buds; headphones and other miscellaneous wires/cords that your guests may bring with them. Pets love to chew the ends of this stuff, so make sure that the cord to that new cell phone or tablet stays safe in the box!
5. ID Them! Most importantly, make sure your pet is wearing proper identification. Pets can easily escape through the front or back doors when guests come into your home. Remember that all dogs and cats (even “indoor cats”) within Broward County must be registered and wear the Broward County Rabies Registration tag on their collar. This is the best way to ensure that your pet is reunited with you if he or she becomes lost during this holiday season.
Broward County Animal Care and Adoption is dedicated to providing shelter for lost and homeless animals. The agency provides access to hundreds of shelter pets hoping for a new home. Please prevent unwanted animals and have your pet spayed or neutered. For more information about the agency, visit our website, or like us on Facebook.