Safety first for your pets

The SPCA provides some safety tips during the holidays.

The holidays are a time for festive decorations and special treats, but some of these seasonal items can be hazardous for your pets. Just ask Agnes. Last year, the six-year-old Old English sheepdog underwent emergency surgery to recover approximately 20 feet of sharp wire tinsel from her stomach. The BC SPCA offers the following reminders:

No Bones Please: Avoid giving bones to your dogs or cats, particularly turkey bones. Poultry bones easily splinter and can cause serious injury, while bone fragments can cause intestinal blockages or lacerations.

Healthy Treats: Chocolate and other sweets should not be given to animals. Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical that can be deadly to cats and dogs.

The best thing you can do for your pets over the holidays is to keep them on their regular diet.

Poisonous plants: Many popular holiday plants are poisonous to animals, especially birds, including mistletoe, holly, ornamental pepper and Christmas rose.  Poinsettias are not poisonous to pets or people. However, some pets who have a sensitivity to the latex contained in the plant may get diarrhea or even vomit if they consume parts of a poinsettia;

Avoid Tinsel:

Try to place decorations above paw height and use string to hang the bulbs instead of hooks, which are easily dislodged. If possible, use nonbreakable ornaments. Avoid using tinsel or angel hair. Cats and dogs will ingest both, which can cause intestinal problems. Cords should be made inaccessible to pets – especially from puppies and exploring kittens.