Tips to keeping your pets safe during holiday season

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(WWLP) – Popular holiday foods and decorations could pose a risk to your pet’s health.

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Division of Animal Health suggests following the tips below to keep your pets safe at home during the holidays:

  • Avoid using breakable ornaments and tinsel on your Christmas tree, as these items can be harmful if swallowed.
  • Cover water bowl under your Christmas tree so your pet doesn’t take a sip.
  • Avoid giving table scraps to your pets, and keep deserts out of their reach.

Holiday plants can also be toxic to pets if they are ingested. The plants below are considered non-toxic to pets by the ASPCA:

  • Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii)
  •  Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exalta bostoniensis)
  • Dancing Doll Orchid (Oncidium flexuosum)
  • African Violet (Saintpaulia spp.)
  • Hens and Chickens Succulent Plants (Echeveria elegans)
  •  Rose (Rosa Species)
  • Christmas Dagger Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides)
  • Gerber Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
  •  Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
  • Christmas Orchid (Cattleya trianaei)
  • Rubber Plant (Peperomia obtusifolia)
  • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
  • Bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea)

If you are traveling with your pet for the holidays, MDAR suggests you pack a bag for your pet just as you would for yourself. Helpful items to pack include food and water bowls, medications, your pet’s favorite toys and their medical records. Perhaps the most important reminder is to make sure your pet is wearing a collar with an ID tag.

“In unfamiliar surroundings, an animal can act differently than normal, often more fearful, and be at higher risk of becoming lost,” said Pam Peebles, executive director of the Thomas J O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center. ” As an animal control center, we use local registries, social media and other tools to get animals back to their families as fast as possible.  However, when animals that are not local are lost, those same tools are far less effective, leaving us to rely very heavily on the basic collar and ID tag. “

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