I love the Christmas Season for so many reasons. First and foremost, the reason we have Christmas to begin with; the birth of Jesus Christ. 

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Then after that, I love the Christmas lights. Before my granddaughter was born in 2006, I would go through the motions of the decorating because that’s what we were supposed to do.  

When Lexi was born, my wife and I were always looking for places to take her just to watch her get excited for the lights and decorations. 

Even though now she’s 1,200 miles away and 17 years old, I still enjoy the Christmas decorations, plus my wife is a talented crafter who not only creates awesome wreaths and other designs, but she has an eye for how to make all the decorations work together. 

One thing to keep in mind as you decorate this year is that if you have pets, what looks pretty to us can be dangerous to them. The American Veterinary Medical Association offers these tips for this time of year.  

First, they suggest that you have the contact information of your pet’s Vet where it's easy to find for everyone in your family in case of emergency. 

The AMVA also suggests finding an Emergency Vet that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Have that contact information readily available as well. They even suggest knowing the route you will take to get there with no delays.  

There are two poison control numbers that the Veterinary Association recommends: 

  • ASPCA Poison Hotline- 1-888-426-4435 
  • Pet Poison Helpline- 1-855-764-7661 

 Of course, during the holiday season there will most likely be a lot of food available, and if you have pets, you need to make sure they can’t get their paws on it.  

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The AVMA says to treat all chocolate as it is toxic for dogs and cats and should be off limits.  

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All Sweet Treats-

These tasty treats can be too rich for pets and could contain an artificial sweetener called “xylitol” which has been linked to liver failure and death in dogs.  

Christmas sweets background.Traditional Italian Christmas sweets on wooden background.
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Table Scraps-

These bring dangers for pets including foods that contain higher fat counts that can cause a dangerous situation called “pancreatitis”. This can be life-threatening for your pet.

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My wife and I found this out the hard way earlier this year when we fed our Morkie "Latte" some small pieces of pork chop. She got very sick, nearly died and she spent several days in an Emergency Vet Hospital.  

Other dangers of feeding your dog from your plate are the choking risks from bones or that bones can create intestinal blockages.  

Also keep in mind that unbaked yeast dough can be hard on your pet's stomach causing them to get sick or even to have rude gas (bah hum bug). 

Then of course your decorations are hazardous to your pet as well. Several of the things you use to make your house look pretty can cause choking or blockages for your pet. Because the decorations are so shiny, they look appealing and appetizing to your pet, but they are really dangerous.  

Be mindful about your Christmas Tree too, try to secure it so that your pet can’t cause it to tip over. And adding additives to your trees' water is dangerous for your pet as well.  

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Lastly, if you’re going to be hosting friends and family for holiday gatherings, try to put your pet in a room by themselves with a favorite toy or something to keep them pre-occupied. If your pet gets jittery when you have visitors, talk to your Vet about options you might have to help with this situation.  

If you do choose to leave your pet out to be around your guests, ask everyone to be mindful around the doors so you don’t have to spend part of your time trying to bring your pet back inside.  

The AMVA also suggests having your pet microchipped and have identification tags on them so if your pet does get out and someone else finds them, it’s easier to be reunited with them.  

And one more thing, make sure you secure your trash so your pet can’t get into it. It may be garbage to us, but it will appear like a buffet to them. And then you’ve got to be the one to clean it up.  

Trashcans and garbage bags on sidewalk, Queens, New York
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Whew, that was a lot of information, but hopefully you'll find it helpful. I think now all that needs to be said is “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night”.  

 

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