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Home Holidays Hazards

Ho! Ho! Ho!  Smiling for Santa!

The Humane Society of the United States

November 2003 Press Release

Reprinted with permission


With the holiday season fast approaching, we turn our thoughts to entertaining friends and family in our homes.  But decorations and festive feasts can also be hazardous to pets, warns The HSUS.


"The holiday season is the great time of year when families and friends get together to share meals and each other's company," said Stephanie Shain, director of outreach for companion animals of The HSUS.  "However, some traditions during the holidays can be harmful to our pets."

Keep in mind the following tips to ensure the safety of the pets in our families:

Certain plants such as Mistletoe berries, and the leaves, stem and flowers of the Poinsettia can be dangerous to pets.  Be sure to keep these plants well out of the reach of animals in your home, or consider using artificial versions.

Food and drinks such as alcoholic beverages, seeds and pits from many fruits, chocolate, macadamia nuts, walnuts, coffee, tea, salt, onions, and other foods can be harmful to pets.

Never feed pets leftovers from the dinner table.  Items such as chicken bones can easily shatter and choke cats and dogs.

When cooking dinner for your guests, be sure to move pet birds away from the kitchen area.  Fumes released from non-stick cookware and self-cleaning ovens can be deadly.

Decorations such as tinsel, glass ornaments and garlands can easily attract pets, but are dangerous choking hazards.  Electric decorations such as stringed lights can give your pets a shock should they chew on the wires. Keep decorations out of their reach.

The unusual commotion of the holiday season can be stressful on animals as well as humans.  Put your pets in a quiet room or quiet area of the house when guests are visiting.

When traveling with your pets, make sure they are properly secured and don't fly them in the cargo area on airplanes unless absolutely necessary.

For more information about home holiday hazards, visit www.hsus.org


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