Peace on Earth... and Safety For All...

Posted by Pia

As many of you know, I'm all for recycling and that includes blog posts with information to keep our fur kids safe. The precautions below are as pertinent today as they were when I first posted them a year ago. Happy holidays to all of my fellow animal lovers!

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Bullseye - Phoenix, Az.
Bullseye is the cutest thing. He is super playful and loves to wrestle with other dogs, great with kids, fun and adorable.

1 Bullseye - Phoenix, Az. Bullseye is the cutest thing. He is super playful and loves to wrestle with other dogs, great with kids, fun and adorable.

Bubbles - Hopkinton, Mass.
Bubbles is a fabulous young dog. She gets along with other dogs, cats, and children. Bubbles is excited to meet everyone. She loves to play and receive attention. Sadly she was given up by her humans due to financial strain. She is hoping to find a home she can fill with love and joy!

2 Bubbles - Hopkinton, Mass. Bubbles is a fabulous young dog. She gets along with other dogs, cats, and children. Bubbles is excited to meet everyone. She loves to play and receive attention. Sadly she was given up by her humans due to financial strain. She is hoping to find a home she can fill with love and joy!

Zoom & Dexter - Chicago, Il.
Zoom and Dexter are a healthy, cuddly, friendly and lovable, pair looking for a loving home together. These faithful friends were left homeless when a couple divorced and neither could take them :(  They are very adaptable and are great with other cats, dogs and children of all ages. Please help them stay together!

3 Zoom & Dexter - Chicago, Il. Zoom and Dexter are a healthy, cuddly, friendly and lovable, pair looking for a loving home together. These faithful friends were left homeless when a couple divorced and neither could take them :( They are very adaptable and are great with other cats, dogs and children of all ages. Please help them stay together!

Bubba - Warren, N.J.

Bubba who is a very, very friendly French bulldog.
He was given up due to a divorce :) He is trying to remain hopeful and wants nothing more than a loving family to care for him forever.

4 Bubba - Warren, N.J. Bubba who is a very, very friendly French bulldog. He was given up due to a divorce :) He is trying to remain hopeful and wants nothing more than a loving family to care for him forever.

Beauty - Orlando, Fla.

Beauty is already spayed and up to date with shots. She is a bit on the shy side and would welcome a home with another dog companion (preferably male) to help her feel at home.

5 Beauty - Orlando, Fla. Beauty is already spayed and up to date with shots. She is a bit on the shy side and would welcome a home with another dog companion (preferably male) to help her feel at home.

Ashton - Chicago, Il.
Ashton is super sweet and friendly! He is good with dogs, cats and kids. Can you offer him a home of his very own?

6 Ashton - Chicago, Il. Ashton is super sweet and friendly! He is good with dogs, cats and kids. Can you offer him a home of his very own?

We all know that it's easy to can get caught up in the season's decorating fun and festivities- but, many holiday items can be hazardous to our furry family members. Be sure to check out the adoptable sweethearts in today's gallery- perhaps you can help them find a loving home by New Year's?

Avoiding the hazards on the list below makes it easier to decorate in a manner that is fun and safe for the entire family! And you never know what Dasher, Prancer and Dancer might get into when they stop by, so best to play it safe for the sake of all of our fellow creatures!

Some holiday hazards include:

Holiday plants:
Mistletoe, Holly and Ivy are extremely poisonous when nibbled or ingested.
Poinsettias are also hazardous as their leaves and sap can be toxic and cause severe intestinal distress.
Hibiscus can cause vomiting or blooding if ingested
Because there are so many hybrids of the above plants each year, it is best to keep them out of reach or just avoid them altogether.
Christmas greens such as balsam, juniper, cedar, and fir have some toxicity to them so can pose risks as well.

Bones from a holiday Turkey:
Do not feed bones to your furry kids. Not only are they choking hazards but, bone chips and fragments can lodge in the intestines and be very dangerous.

Holiday tree:
Preservatives used in the water for a tree stand can cause intestinal upsets- best bet is not to use such preparations. Avoid sugar and aspirin additives in the water as well. Pesticides used on the tree can also seep into the water so be sure furry family cannot get to the tree water to drink it.

Ingested pine needles can be somewhat toxic and irritate or puncture your companion animal's intestines. Be sure to clean up dry or stray needles as they fall.

Ornaments and Decorations:
String objects like tinsel and ribbon, are to be kept away from companion animals. They can wrap around intestines or ball up in the stomach causing obstructions.
Angel hair (often made of spun glass) can cause severe irritation to skin and eyes irritation and is hazardous if ingested.
Artificial spray snow can be toxic if inhaled or otherwise ingested.
Metal ornament hooks can get caught in playful paws or ingested. Twine or yarn can be used instead to affix ornaments to the tree.

Bubbling holiday lights contain methylene chloride fluid which can be dangerous if inhaled or ingested.

Antifreeze is a huge hazard at this time of year- it tastes sweet to animals so they tend to lick it. Always be sure to clean any such leaks up right away. It poses a sever risk to wildlife and other area animals.

Fireplaces that utilize fire salts present hazards if the salts are ingested-symptoms can include gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, convulsions and other sequelea.

Tying ribbons on a furry family member's neck should be avoided as they can get stuck on objects and potentially choke themselves.

Electric cords can be a hazard to puppies, kittens and bunnies as they may chew them. Keep them secured and out of reach. Also best to unplug them entirely when not in use.

Candles can always be a fire hazard if pushed over by a curious kitty or wagging tail.

Hazardous human foods include: Chocolate, grapes, raisins, avocados, Macadamia nuts, onions or onion powder, garlic, caffeinated drinks, alcohol, cooked bones, fish bones, moldy or spoiled food, and raw yeast dough.
Products sweetened with xylitol are extremely toxic. This sweetener is often found in chewing gum and mints. Any such ingestion requires immediate medical attention.

Other potential harmful substances include ice melting products, liquid potpourri, mothballs and those 'stay fresh pouches' that often come in shoe boxes and gifts. Use caution with all of the above and if an animal ingests any of these potentially fatal items CALL YOUR VET IMMEDIATELY.

I can never overstate the importance of keeping updated tags on all companion animals. Microchipping is also important. All pets should have at least two forms of ID on them at all times. Our nations shelters are filled with lost family pets who no one anticipated would ever get lost. It is tragic and a tag is such an easy safeguard to provide.

Many people travel over the holidays, leaving furry family with a neighbor, petsitter or friend- this is often when animals escape or get lost. It is critical to always have proper ID on them. You might consider getting a tag that includes your pet sitter's or neighbor's name and number if you are going to be unreachable while away.

Wishing you, your companion animals, and all of our fellow creatures, a safe and happy holiday season!

In kinship,
Dr. Pia Salk

Check out the adoptables in todays gallery:

Bullseye
Bubbles
Zoom & Dexter
Bubba
Beauty
Ashton

Comments (11)

  • Good Morning Dr. Pia

    Thank you for the safety tips but my favorite wasn't listed, chewing the lights on the tree. I have to say I just chew them and leave all the pieces for mom. I know I'm not supposed to do that but it's not my fault, the devil makes me do it ;)

    Happy Holidays!!

    Zoe

  • Good morning Dr. Pia,
    Those were some real cute dogs and cats you posted. I hope people have giving hearts and give animals in shelters a chance at a new life.
    And thank you for the list of stuff that is bad for us. I bet a lot of peole just don't realize how something as simple as a hook for a Christmas ornament could cause problems for a pet if it was swallowed or stepped on.
    Well Glue Squad, how are the pictures coming along? I can't wait to see them. Don't forget to smile for the camera. heheheheheh
    Love to all,
    Maddox

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    And hello to you too Dr. Pia. I missed everyone yesterday. Daddy had to go early in the morning and didn’t get back until late afternoon. He is the one who turns the computer on. Mommy doesn’t want to use the computer. She never hasn’t and doesn’t want to. It’s so easy even a “cat” could do it. What an I saying???? Just got carried away; I guess it’s the season. Thanks for the safety tips; everyone be save out there.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • Happy Holidays Dr. Pia, and thanks for all the info. As always, you are the smartest, and the best. We have bubble lights on the tree, so Mom is very happy to know of those dangers. Take care all and keep warm. We have 7 inches of snow so far. Hooray!!
    Love & licks,
    Basil

  • Hi Dr. Pia, Those photos you shared today are beautiful! I am praying that all of those animals and others in shelters will find great homes ASAP because they all deserve kindness and loving care! The information you shared again is extremely important to protect our wonderful animals! Sure wish ALL humans cared as much as we do for animals! Hope you and your wonderful animals have a delightful Christmas and a Happy New Year! Love, Jan and DDR

  • Dear Dr. Pia,
    Thank for the reminder of the safety tips...
    I pray that all 6 of the pets shown here will find a fur-ever home.

    May you, your family and pets have a "Wonderful Holiday Season"

    Much Love,
    delia & Kitty =^..^=

  • It really bothers me that there are critters with no loving homes..divorce give your pet up..would you do that to a human..money woes..can't share with your best friend who will protect you from the worst..what has happened to goodwill and peace on earth..so sad..enough of my cattledog rambling...G.K., way to go..we cattledogs are so proud of you...I just posed au natural in my photo..Lucinda tried to get antlers on me ..no way..plus I would not wear my vest..I am going on a short walk-about..so watch out raccoons and naughty otters!..with all the meds I am taking I am feeling a lot like my old (15) self...later buddies, cora-belle...p.s. I had to give Lucinda one of her gifts early.. a really lovely big angel wing begonia..covered in little pink flowers..I knew she would love it!

  • Hi Dr. Pia!
    I would like to bring all your friends to my house for Christmas. I know what it is like to need a home and family. I am very happy now with Mimi & Papa and the grandkids.
    Note to Zoe...really now girlfriend, cut out the chewing! He, he, he.
    I sent my photo in, did you? See you all on The Daily Wag!
    Your Pal,
    Rebel

  • Hi All-
    I wanted to say hi and thank you for being such a great community of animal advocates- and such a support to each other!

    I'd love to do a post or 2 on what you guys have aptly named 'the glue squad.' Please send me any and all photos of you and yours to build into a photo gallery- snaps of you as kids with family critters, pics of cora-bell, Basil, Zoe, Maddox, Kirby, Kitty, DDR, Rebel, etc.

    Some topic ideas could be: New Year's resolutions of your fur-kids, pics in costumes, you and your BFF's, things you've learned from your critters, favorite quotes, the list is endless. I'd love to hear from you!
    send to pia@drpiasalk.com

    In kinship,
    Pia

  • I sure hope these little ones can find new furever homes soon. I wish I could do more. Fantastic advice on how to keep the furkids safe Dr. Pia. I tweeted, Facebooked, and Google plused the information along for others to read.

  • Wow, Wow, Wow. See that my Glue Squad friends. They want us. We will be big. First they want us on The Daily Wag and now Dr. Pia wants pictures of us as well. Geez, next we will be on Letterman or The View or shows like that. We could write a book about all of the stuff that goes on with us as a group. I can see it now, we would be doing book signings like Martha is doing with her latest book. We could be stars. Well, hold on. I have to rethink this. We could have a problem. Zoe would probably want to chew the books up. I don't think that would go over to well with our fan base. OK, next idea. hehehehehe
    Maddox

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