Pets, Presents and Preparedness

Posted on Dec 17, 2013

Amarillo, TX – If you have a pet or are thinking of getting a new pet over the holidays, the City’s Animal Control Department encourages you to take a few special precautions for the health and safety of your family pets. Animals tend to find all those special holiday items fun to play with or explore. As a result, veterinarians treat animals for electrocution, ingestion of foreign objects, burns, cuts from broken glass, and poisoning from toxic plants or chemicals every year. Do not let your holiday turn into a tragedy.

Think about how you can pet proof the following:

  • Christmas Tree: Pets may knock it over, so you can either keep it in a room that can be closed off or put a barrier around it, such as baby gates or a portable kennel fence. Keep sharp pine needles swept up because they can cause intestinal problems if they are ingested.
  • Plants: A number of holiday plants are poisonous to pets, including holly, mistletoe and poinsettia. Make sure they are placed where your pets cannot gain access to them.
  • Ornaments/decorations: Tinsel, glass ornaments, electrical cords and various edible decorations all can cause problems if they are ingested. Make sure they are secured so animals cannot get to them.
  • Food: Chocolate, alcohol and caffeine can make pets very ill, or even kill them in some cases. Do not give your pets any holiday food and keep platters of goodies out of their reach.

Finally, if you are thinking of getting a pet during the holidays, put a lot of thought into it first. Getting an animal at any time requires a lot of thought and research. Add the normal distractions and activities of the holidays into the equation and you may put an undue amount of stress on yourself and the animal. That is often not a great way to start a relationship.  Amarillo Animal Control and Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society encourage you to think long and hard about the temptation to get a pet during this time.

For more information, contact City of Amarillo Animal Control at 378-9032 or Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society at 373-1716.

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