By Susan Richard

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — As the holiday season gets underway this Thanksgiving weekend, the ASPCA is out with tips for pet parents, to ensure the safety of your furry family members during the festivities:

No Feasting for the Furries:  Most people know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but other toxic table foods can be hidden in recipes, including garlic, onions, grapes/raisins and fatty foods like turkey skin and avocado.  In addition, bones should never be given to a pet, as they can become logged in the throat or intestines.  Call the ASPCA Poison Prevention Hotline if you think your pet has ingested something dangerous: 1-888-426-4435.

O Christmas Tree:  Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling.  Use a tree skirt to prevent your pet from drinking the water, which could result in nausea or diarrhea.

Tinsel-less Town: Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching “toy” that’s easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It’s best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.

Forget the Mistletoe & Holly: Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies, can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.

Watch the video below or click here.

Get more safety tips in the latest edition of All For Animals with 1010WINS’ Susan Richard:
(All for Animals is a production of New Day Media and is placed on as a courtesy)

That Holiday Glow: Don’t leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!

Wired Up: Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws’ reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet’s mouth.

(Credit: File Photo)

Toy Joy: Looking to stuff your pet’s stockings? Choose gifts that are safe.

  • Dogs have been known to tear their toys apart and swallowing the pieces, which can then become lodged in the esophagus, stomach or intestines. Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible.
  • Long, stringy things are a feline’s dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that’s too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer—and tons of play sessions together.

Careful with Cocktails: If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.

Put the Meds Away : Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.

A Room of Their Own: Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.

New Year’s Noise: As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat’s intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears.

Don’t Shop, Adopt:  If you’re thinking about adding a furry family member, please make adoption your first option.  There are thousands of loving animals at shelters across the country waiting for their forever homes.  To see photos of adoptable animals at the ASPCA, visit

Comments (2)
  1. CT Native says:

    Everyday, our cat looks me in the eye and whinea “where’s the chicken”. I look back at him and say “get a job”.

  2. Schmellma Arss says:

    The economy is bad, so bad that I’ll be eating my pets for Thanksgiving dinner. I wish I had kids, I’d eat them as well. Good sources of protein those little buggers are!

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