Tips to keep pets safe this holiday season | Health
Pinellas County, Florida -- The holiday season is a time for fun with family and friends, but Pinellas County Animal Services reminds members of the community not to forget pets at this time of year.
- Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea if consumed.
- Kitties love tinsel— sparkly, light-catching “toys” that is easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It’s best to brighten your holidays with something other than tinsel.
- Do not feed your pets chocolate or anything sweetened with xylitol. Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.
- Forget the holly and mistletoe. Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems..
- Hold the leftovers. Fatty, spicy and other human foods should not be fed to your furry friends. Bones from cooked meals cannot be digested and can cause serious and even deadly problems for dogs and cats.
- Don’t leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. If you leave the room, put the candle out.
- If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.
- Give your pet their own quite space to retreat—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrier or in a separate room away from the excitement.
- As you count down to the New Year please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat’s intestine, if ingested, requiring surgery. Noisy poppers and fireworks can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears.
Pinellas County Animal Services is located at 12450 Ulmerton Road in Largo. Normal hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the adoption center closing at 5:30 p.m. Saturday hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and services include adoptions. Rabies vaccinations are administered on Thursdays from 1 to 4 p.m. The facility is closed all Pinellas County holidays.
For information on how to adopt, donate or volunteer, join Pinellas County Animal Services on Facebook. To learn more about the shelter, visit www.pinellascounty.org/animalservices, or call (727) 582-2600. The lost or found pets hotline is (727) 582-2604.