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Plan ahead to limit pet stress during holidays

The holiday season is among the most stressful for people, what with family gatherings and financial matters, to name but a few reasons.

The same can be said for your pets. There are lots of things to eat around that could be dangerous, even deadly, to your furry friend, according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, a charitable organization.

And unexpected crowds of people can add stress.

The AVMF provides this listing of common sense, but often overlooked, things you can do to make your holiday environment safer for the family pet:

• Keep people food out of the reach of your pet, and ask your guests to do the same.

• Make sure your pet doesn’t have any access to treats, especially those containing chocolate, xylitol, grapes/raisins, onions or other toxic foods.

• Don’t leave your pet alone in the room with lit candles, a decorated tree or potpourri.

• Keep holiday plants (especially holly, mistletoe and lillies) out of reach of pets.

• Consider leaving the tinsel off your tree if you have a cat.

• Secure your Christmas tree to keep it from falling over if your dog bumps it or your cat climbs it. Hanging lemon-scented car air fresheners in the tree may deter your cat from climbing it.

• Provide a safe place for your pet to escape the excitement (such as a kennel, crate, perching place, scratching post shelf or hiding place) if you’re entertaining guests. If your pet is excitable or scared, consider putting your pet in another room with some toys and a comfortable bed.

Plan ahead for a safe holiday season for you and your furry friend.

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