“Operation Kindness wants to help owners keep pets safe during the holidays,” says Jim Hanophy, CEO of Operation Kindness. “Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are family-oriented. No one should have to deal with an emergency situation involving a beloved dog or cat that could have been prevented.”
Even though two-legged family members may indulge around the holidays, pets should not.
· Pay attention to pet costumes and accessories. Some have parts that can be choking hazards or cause gastrointestinal upset if a pet chews on or swallows it, and masks may obstruct vision.
· Keep pets away from burning candles, strings of lights and electrical cords. Decorations should be out of reach.
· Keep pets inside on Halloween. Black cats, especially, may be vulnerable.
· Many dogs and cats do not like to be around strangers or the confusion of extra guests in the house. Keep pets in another part of the house and away from the front door to prevent them from darting out.
· If a dog likes meeting new people, keep him or her on a leash when answering the door on Halloween. Remember, though, that not all children may like being greeted by a dog.
· Do not give candy, particularly chocolate, to pets.
· Pet-proof the Christmas tree. Don’t let dogs and cats drink Christmas tree water. Also, cats like to eat tinsel, ornaments and even ribbons and bows on gifts.
· A number of seasonal plants are either toxic or can cause gastrointestinal upset. Place Autumn Crocus, Chrysanthemums, English Ivy, Poinsettias, Amaryllis and Yew on higher surfaces.
· Other foods commonly consumed during the holidays that are bad for dogs and cats are raw bread dough and yeast; onions; garlic; salt; nuts; milk; bones; grapes and raisins; Xylitol – a natural sweetener and sugar substitute found in sugar-free items; and alcohol.
Operation Kindness has posted a list of common foods, plants and household items that are hazardous to pets on its website (http://bit.ly/
“I hope your holidays are filled with enjoyment and fun for both you and your four-legged friends,” states Dr. Tiffany Tobaben, Operation Kindness veterinarian. “Being diligent to protect them from harmful foods such as chocolate, grapes and raisins will help prevent health issues caused by these foods. If your pet does ingest any of these foods, please estimate how much was consumed and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.”
Visit Operation Kindness at 3201 Earhart Drive in Carrollton, TX, 75006.
Operation Kindness is the oldest and largest no-kill animal shelter in North Texas. Each day Operation Kindness cares for an average of 300 animals at its Carrollton, Texas, shelter with an additional 100 animals living in its foster-home network. Operation Kindness has saved more than 75,000 animals since its inception. Learn how to adopt, donate or volunteer by visiting www.OperationKindness.org or by calling 972-418-PAWS. Connect with Operation Kindness on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/