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Wake County News > Posts > ​Keep Your Pets Safe this Holiday Season
December 18
​Keep Your Pets Safe this Holiday Season

When hanging your decorations by the chimney with care this season, keep in mind that your pets will also be around for the holiday celebrations. The Wake County Animal Center offers the following tips to ensure that all members of your family, even the four-legged ones, have a safe holiday season.

Christmas Trees
Christmas trees pose multiple hazards to pets. Trees can tip over, especially if you have a pet that likes to climb. Secure your tree to the ceiling or in a corner so that it cannot tip over as easily. Try to avoid breakable tree decorations, such as glass ornaments, that could cause injuries to paws or intestinal blockages if eaten. Tinsel can also be dangerous if consumed. Keep food-based ornaments, such as salt-dough, away from pets.

Lights and Candles
A string of lights may be just as attractive to a cat as a piece of yarn. Keep cords and strings of lights out of reach of pets. Remember to never leave a candle unattended and keep them out of reach of pets, especially cats that can jump onto counters.

Holiday Plants
Some holiday plants, such as mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar and poinsettias, can be toxic to your pets. Keep your veterinarian's contact information and the local emergency clinic's information on hand in case your pet ingests any of these plants.

Holiday Entertaining
Although holiday parties may be fun for humans, they may not be as fun for pets. Some pets like to be around strangers, others do not. If you are hosting a party, consider securing your pets in a separate room. Keeping them separate from the party will keep your pets safe and ensure that your guests have a good time. It will also keep your pet from getting out as guests come and go. Make sure all pets have identification tags and microchips, just in case they do get out.

Holiday Food
The smell of turkey can be very enticing for pets. Turkey and turkey skin can cause pancreatitis in some pets, which can be a life-threatening condition. Chocolate is another toxic food that should be kept away from pets. Keep your pets safe by clearing the table of scraps and making sure garbage can lids are secure. Some other foods that cause issues or can be toxic for pets include sweets or baked goods that contain xylitol, onions, grapes and raisins. Yeast dough is another item than can cause painful gas and potentially dangerous bloating if ingested.

New Year's Eve
The noise of poppers, fireworks and confetti can be fun for us and troublesome for pets. Secure your pets as midnight approaches to minimize their ability to escape. Clean up streamers or confetti before your pets can ingest them.

If you are concerned that your pet ingested a toxic plant or food item, you can call your local veterinarian, local veterinary emergency clinic or the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline at 1-888-426-4435.

About the Wake County Animal Center
The Wake County Animal Center is an open-admission shelter operated by Wake County. The center receives all stray, abandoned and surrendered pets in the county and works in partnership with fosters, volunteers and local rescues to treat and rehome thousands of homeless animals every year.

To learn more about the Wake County Animal Center and animals available for adoption, visit wakegov.com/pets and follow the center on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @WakeGovPets.


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