The holiday season has officially kicked into gear. The Michigan Humane Society is once again urging pet owners to remember their animals' safety with some helpful tips:
- Table scraps: Store them or throw them away, but skip giving them to your pets. Gravy and poultry skin can cause digestive upset. Simply put, you'll have enough to clean up with the dishes and leftovers; no need to add giving Fido a bath to that to-do list.
- Chocolate: It's a treat for humans, but poisonous to dogs and cats. Depending on the animal's size and the type of chocolate ingested, it can even be fatal. Keep it away from the critters.
- Stress: Animals can suffer, too. We might thrive on the hustle and bustle, but pets, not so much. Make sure they're not neglected amid all the rush, but also make certain they can't get into trouble. Keep electrical cords out of nibbling distance, or offer your animal a safe chew toy as an alternative.
- Entertainment: Pets can get confused and nervous with guests arriving and going. Be sure to keep your pooch or kitty secure when you're having company, so they can't flee. To be extra safe, make sure they are wearing a collar and tag, just in case. Better yet, get your animal microchipped. The MHS has a special through Nov. 30: Get your critter chipped for $35 at any MHS Center for Animal Care in Detroit, Rochester Hills and Westland.
- Green isn't always good: Mistletoe, holly and poinsettias are great for holiday cheer, but not always for an animal's health. Some plants are deadly. If you do have greens around, make sure they're out of reach. Most vets have a list of safe and unsafe plants. And if your animal is vomiting, lethargic or foaming at the mouth — whether they got into a plant or something else — be sure to get them to a veterinarian immediately.
For more on the Michigan Humane Society, visit www.michiganhumane.org or call 866-MHUMANE.