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2020-12-10
Keep Your Pets Safe This Holiday Season

The holiday season is meant to be a joyous time for all, including our furry friends. Unfortunately, many pets across the county end up getting injured during this time of year. There are sights, sounds, and smells they aren't used to, which left unchecked can lead to trouble. What are some ways you can keep your pets safe this holiday season in Champaign County?

Holiday Decor

  • Christmas tree: Make sure your dogs or cats do not chew on limbs or needles from the tree. Ingested pine needles could get lodged in the intestinal tract, puncturing the lining or bunching together and causing an intestinal obstruction.
  • Water base: The water base of a Christmas tree contains dangerous chemicals that could harm your pet.
  • Christmas lights and tinsel: Position your tree's lights and tinsel draping away from the bottom of the tree where pets can get to them.
  • Candles: Don’t leave candles unattended. Pets may accidentally knock them over and spill wax or start a fire.
  • Fire starter logs: Dogs that enjoy chewing should steer clear; these logs contain sawdust and paraffin which can cause an irritated stomach or even intestinal blockage when ingested.
  • Plants: A number of seasonal plants are poisonous to pets if nibbled or eaten, including ivy, holly, mistletoe and poinsettias.

Foods Not to Feed Pets

  • Bones: Bones easily splinter and can cause serious health problems (even death) for your pet.
  • Candy: Particularly chocolate—which is toxic to dogs, cats and ferrets—and any candy containing the toxic sweetener Xylitol.
  • Citrus and pits: Keep foods containing citric acid away from your pets. Foods such as cherry pits, peach pits and apple seeds contain essential oils that have the ability to cause irritations and even central nervous system depression if a significant amount is ingested.
  • Coffee: Grounds, beans and chocolate-covered espresso beans.
  • Eggs (raw)
  • Grapes and raisins: These can cause kidney problems.
  • Leaves and stems: From vegetables like tomatoes.
  • Nuts
  • Onions
  • Salt
  • Trash: Pets who engage in trash-digging can accidentally eat foods that are potentially poisonous to them. Keep trash hidden somewhere your pet can't access.

Make this holiday season in Champaign County a safe and happy time for you and your beloved pets.

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