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PET TIPS for the Holidays

Holidays can be fun and exciting times for people, but are often stressful or dangerous for our pets. Animal Humane Society asks that you keep your pet’s safety in mind this holiday season.

Here are a few things to keep away from your pet:

  • Rich and fatty foods like turkey skin, fat trimmings and gravy can make pets seriously ill.
  • Poultry bones can damage or obstruct the animal’s intestinal tract.
  • Onions pose another danger to pets. They damage red blood cells in dogs and cats which will lead to anemia.
  • Keep candy bowls well out of the reach of pets, especially chocolate. Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine which can cause serious illness, or even death, in pets if consumed in large quantities.
  • Beware of holiday decorations that can strangle or be swallowed by your pets, especially strings of lights and tinsel.
  • Remember to keep alcoholic beverages out of the reach of your pets.
  • Make sure garbage cans are placed where pets cannot get into them or are securely closed.
  • If your pet is showing symptoms of discomfort, contact your veterinarian.

Like people, an animal’s regular routine is often altered during the holidays. It’s best to keep your pet’s routine as normal as possible to avoid stress or anxiety. Remember to feed them at their regular times, give them plenty of exercise, and let them outside frequently. It’s also a good idea to give your pet a safe, quiet area to escape to when they need it.

With all the people coming and going, it’s also important that your pet is wearing an ID tag and is microchipped; this will increase your chances of being reunited if they get lost. If your pet does get lost, we offer a free Lost and Found Online Bulletin Board where you can post your pet’s information and look to see if someone has found your pet and brought him/her to Animal Humane Society. The website for that service ishttp://www.animalhumanesociety.org/lostandfound.

By taking the proper precautions you can help your pet have a happy and healthy holiday season.

Pets as Presents

Have the kids been asking for a puppy? Or perhaps thinking of getting your grandmother a kitten?  Animal Humane Society (AHS) asks you to resist the urge to surprise loved ones with pets at the holidays and consider that “one size does not fit all.”  The impulse to give a cute and furry animal can create as much heartbreak as joy especially if the recipient is not ready for a companion animal.

“A pet is long-term commitment and financial investment that requires careful consideration,” advises Cindy Johnson, customer service director for AHS. “The person who will be the caring for the pet should be part of the decision making. Plus, most people want to have their special moment where they first bond with their new pet. It’s as common for a pet to choose us as it is for us to choose our pet.”

While AHS encourages pet adoptions from its five sites, if you are thinking about giving a pet as a gift, we ask you to reconsider and look at alternative options including gift certificates for adoption and merchandise at Animal Humane Society.

Great gift ideas for pet lovers include:

  • Gift certificates allow those who are interested in bringing a pet into their lives the opportunity to have the experience of choosing their own pet at the time that is right for them.
  • Humane education class for your child’s school  bring our humane education programs to your school or meeting site. Our classroom programs offer interactive presentations provided at your location
  • Tribute gift honor an animal or person with a memorial gift

Gift certificates are available at customer service counters at all five AHS sites in Buffalo, Coon Rapids, Golden Valley, St. Paul and Woodbury.

A reminder that this time of year it is not uncommon to find newspaper ads and Internet sites offering Christmas puppies and kittens for sale. AHS does not recommend buying pets through these venues. Hundreds of homeless dogs and cats are vaccinated, spayed and neutered, and available for adoption at Animal Humane Society, each deserving a second chance at a forever home.


Photos and article courtesy of the Animal Humane Society, www.animalhumanesociety.org.

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