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Holiday Pet Safety Tips Issued By HSCO

BEND, OR -- As people gather to celebrate Christmas, many will bring their four-legged family members into the festivities. But, while the holidays can be fun for pets, Lynne Ouchida with the Humane Society of Central Oregon says owners need to be cautious of common dangers. Here are a few tips from the Humane Society: 


Family Gathering Tips:

  • New People and a Busy Household: Make family gatherings a positive and safe experience for your pet. Introduce new people to pets with care and don’t let the dog or cat dash out the door as people enter your home. Current and legible ID tags ensure a quick and safe return home.
  • Foods: Too much fatty, rich, or even just new types of food can give your pet diarrhea, vomiting, pancreatitis or gastroenteritis, all of which can be very painful and serious.
  • Bones: Bones can tear-up or obstruct your pet’s insides. Place your table scraps in a secure, covered garbage container or outside in the garbage can.
  • Strings and ties: Often used to tie up the turkey during roasting can tie up your pets insides too.
  • Alcoholic Drinks: An ounce of alcohol can poison a small dog.
  • Chocolate: Keep chocolate away from dogs. Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death in dogs.
  • Desserts: In large quantity they can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.
  • Candles: Illuminate the holidays with their dancing light and enticing smells that may attract a curious pet. Never leave a pet alone with a lit candle to prevent a fire in your home.
  • Wrapping from presents: It can pose a threat when ribbon gets ingested and tangled in your pet’s stomach or intestines.
  • Food gifts left unattended: These may be eaten by pets and cause gastrointestinal upset.
  • Plants: Poinsettias, Mistletoe, Holly and Lilies can be harmful to pets, so prevent pets from ingesting.

Call your veterinarian or the animal emergency clinic if your pet exhibits any unusual symptoms.  For more information on keeping pets safe during the holidays call the Humane Society of Central Oregon at 541 382-3537 or visit www.hsco.org.


Ouchida says this time of year, it can be easy for dogs to get away from home, with visitors coming and going.  Due to recent overcrowding, the Bend shelter asks pet owners to contact them right away if you lose or find a pet. 

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