Tips to keep four-legged family members safe through the holiday - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Tips to keep four-legged family members safe through the holidays

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — While many of us are busy gift shopping, decorating and cooking this time of year, it's important to keep an eye on our four-legged family members as well.  

The holiday décor that makes our homes festive and bright can also pose a danger to our pets.  

Here are some ways you can keep your furry friends safe throughout the holiday season.  

  • Keep pets away from mistletoe, holly and poinsettias which are toxic to animals. 
  • Chocolate can also be toxic so be careful with treats around the home – including the ones you leave out for Santa Claus.  
  • Anchor your Christmas tree well so pets can’t tip it over.  
  • Unless you've only used tap water for your Christmas tree, make sure your pets can't drink it.  
  • Keep tinsel and curling ribbon away from your feline family members. They love to play with it, but if they eat it you could end up taking a sleigh ride to the vet.  
  • Hide electrical cords from Christmas lights and other decorations away from curious pets.  
  • Be careful when lighting candles - make sure pets can’t play with or knock them over. Or opt for flameless candles to keep the ambiance but decrease the danger.  
  • Dogs and cats can be overwhelmed by the noise and activity of a holiday gathering. Set aside a quiet room for them to be alone and/or sleep undisturbed.  
  • Creating a safe space on New Year's Eve is also important, especially for dogs who may run away from loud noises and become lost.  
  • Microchip all pets as they may slip out through an open door as holiday guests come and go. If someone finds your lost pet or pets, a vet’s office or shelter can scan for a microchip and you’ll quickly be reunited. County Animal Services offers microchipping from 1 to 3 p.m. every Thursday except holidays. The fee is $10 and includes national registration.  
  • Use your computer or smartphone and sign up for Finding Rover. This free service uses facial recognition to identify dogs. If your pet gets lost, Finding Rover has the photo on file for anyone who may find him.  

County Animal Services also offers pet safety tips for every season. Click here to see their tips for winter months.  

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