Happy Holidays from CARES

The CARES staff would like to wish all of you a very
            Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!
  We thought we would remind you of a few things that
           you should be mindful of during this season to keep your pets safe.


Please Remember

· If you have a live Christmas tree, cover the water as it may absorb chemicals and cause illness if ingested. Christmas tree water may contain fertilizers that, if ingested, can cause a stomach upset. Stagnant tree water can also act as a breeding ground for bacteria and cause a pet to end up with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

· Poinsettias, mistletoe berries and some other plants and flowers that are popular during the holidays are poisonous to pets. Check with your veterinarian or local poison control center to find out what holiday plants and flowers you need to keep out of your pet's reach.

• Aluminum foil and cellophane candy wrappers are dangerous for your pets, as they can cause vomiting and could even produce intestinal blockage.

· Children's toys can present a poisoning or choking hazard. Be sure small toy pieces, plastic model cement, crayons and paints are put away or out of reach when not in use. Wrapping paper, ribbon, and tape also represent potential dangers. Remove them as soon as possible.

· Keep your pets on a normal diet. Any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or cat severe indigestion and diarrhea. Do not give table scraps to pets. Most holiday food is too ric h for them and can cause diarrhea, while bones can splinter and/or cause obstructions.

· Watch for pets underfoot in the kitchen. Dispose of turkey bones immediately and leave food and hot liquids like gravy out of reach.

· Keep holiday treats and candies out of your pet's reach. Foods 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 and can even cause death.

· Additionally, remember wrapped gifts under your tree that may be food items. People food, especially in excess, can make your pet sick. Chocolate, in fact, can be fatal to dogs and cats!

· Liquid potpourris, fireplace colors and salts, Styrofoam, tinsel, angel hair and other tree decorations can also be toxic if ingested, cause skin or eye irritation, or cause intestinal obstructions. If you suspect that your pet has ingested something poisonous, seek medical attention immediately.

· Keep wires and other decorations out of the reach of your pets. Tinsel, glass ornaments and garlands can easily attract pets, but are dangerous choking hazards. If ingested, they can become lodged in the intestines and cause intestinal blockage. Electric decorations such as stringed lights can give your pets a shock should they chew on the wires.

· Pick up any ornament hooks, tinsel or ribbon that fall on the floor. If you have a cat that is tempted to play with the ornaments on your tree, decorate the bottom third of the tree with non-breakable, plastic or wooden ornaments, or decorate only the top two-thirds of your tree. Your pet could experience serious internal injuries if it ingests any of these items.

· If you have a bird, make sure it is safely in its cage if you're lighting any candles. Additionally, lit candles should be kept out of any pet's reach, perhaps high on a counter or table.

· Never leave lighted candles unattended and be sure they are securely anchored so they won't be dislodged by the swat of a paw or tail. Better yet, only use candles with domes or cylinders that enclose the flame.

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