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Holiday safety tips for pet owners

The Fort Wayne Department of Animal Care & Control offers the following safety tips for people with pets during the holiday season.

1) Holiday decorations and Christmas tress are fascinating, especially to little animals. They can also be dangerous for your pet. Pine needles, ornamental flocking, tinsel, ribbons, and other decorations are harmful if ingested. Pets will be safer if confined away from decorations when they are home alone.

2) If you give a gift of candy or food to someone with a pet, let them know that the gift is one that a pet might try to investigate. Have them place it out of the pet’s reach. When you receive a gift that will be opened later, ask if it is an edible gift that might attract a pet.

3) Avoid dangling electrical cords where pets could chew them or become tangled.

4) If you use an additive in the water of a Christmas tree, cover the stand and water with foil to prevent animals from drinking the water and becoming ill.

5) Chicken bones, turkey and ham bones should be sealed in a trash bag and removed from the home. If the trash is left inside, the smell may entice your pet to investigate and chew a bone that could splinter and perforate the animal’s intestinal track.

6) Many holiday plants can cause animals to become sick if eaten. Keep holly berries and poinsettia out of the reach of your pet.

7) Avoid getting a new pet during the holidays. A new pet requires a calm and quiet introduction to their new home. Animals have difficulty adjusting to unusual activity or busy schedules and the added stress can cause a pet to become seriously ill.

8) Avoid the temptation to indulge your pet with extra treats. Your animal’s diet should remain consistent throughout the year.