8 holiday tips to keep pets and kids safe



For original article click here

Ryan Freeburg Special for The Republic | azcentral.com

Published 7:03 AM EST Dec 11, 2015

Holiday decorations are being drug out of the closets and homes are looking festive. Unfortunately, this can be a challenging time for both children and our four-legged friends. Be extra alert to the dangers that holiday decorations pose.  Pet and child proof your home and avoid these holiday hazards:

  • Chewing on electrical wires can cause serious mouth burns, as well as severe problems from electric shock.
  • Breakable ornaments and “angel hair” — which is actually spun glass — can cause severe cuts in the mouth and esophagus, which may require surgery. Little fingers are also in danger of cuts.
  • Poinsettias and the berries of holly and mistletoe are toxic.
  • Pets are not “party animals” — giving alcohol to helpless creatures to get a laugh is cruel, and it can result in serious gastrointestinal problems.
  • Turkey and chicken bones should never be given to pets — they splinter easily and can cause choking or internal ruptures. Watch for gagging or retching.
  • String used to secure roasted turkey or ham can be very tempting to pets. If eaten, the string may cause serious intestinal problems requiring life-saving surgery. Be sure all strings and netting are disposed of properly.
  • Chocolate is toxic to animals, even in small amounts. It contains a substance that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, seizures and disorientation.
  • Do not give aspirin, Tylenol or any painkillers unless under the advice of a vet or doctor — they can be lethal.

And finally, New Year’s entertainment for humans is not so fun for animals. Many people will ring in 2016 with fireworks and other alarming noises. Scared, running pets can get hit by cars, cause wrecks or get lost. They frequently bite people, including their owners.

To keep your pets close to home, ensure all fences and gates are secure. Keep your pet indoors if possible. Make sure your pet has its license or ID tag on its collar. You can look for missing pets in person at the Arizona Humane Society or Maricopa County Animal Care and Control shelters.

Ryan Freeburg is executive assistant fire chief for the Scottsdale Fire Department.

Published 7:03 AM EST Dec 11, 2015

For original article click here

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