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News Release  

December 3, 2008
CONTACT: Steve Fries
Animal Services Division Manager 951.413.3790

City Offers Pet Safety Tips for the Holidays

The Animal Services Division of the City of Moreno Valley is urging pet owners to ensure that their canine and feline family members are safe and secure for the upcoming holiday season. Animal Services wants all pet owners to be aware of potential hazards that certain foods and holiday décor pose to their furry friends.

  • Keep your pets on their normal diet. Pets thrive on routine. Avoid feeding pets holiday leftovers along with chocolate, cookies, candy, and alcohol, all which can be toxic to their health. Remember poultry bones can splinter causing blockages while other holiday food scraps can cause upset stomachs due to the consumption of spicy and fatty foods.
  • Properly dispose all gift wrapping and food scraps. Curious pets love to play with wrapping paper, aluminum foil, candy wrappers and cellophane, all posing a choking hazard or intestinal blockage if swallowed. Make sure garbage and leftovers are safely disposed of promptly.
  • Provide pets with a safe and quiet area. Keeping pets in a safe and quiet environment creates less stress for them during holiday festivities. Pets with their own room are less likely to become frightened and accidentally escape out opened doors.
  • Avoid burning candles. Curious pets love to check out the flickering lights of candles. The flames or dripping wax can injure pets by burning their whiskers or hair. They can also easily knock over a candle and start a fire.
  • Christmas tree needs water? Cover it up! The water for a Christmas tree may contain fertilizers, and if ingested by a pet, can pose a heath concern resulting in an upset stomach, vomiting or even diarrhea. Tree water can also become stagnant, becoming a breeding ground for bacteria, and if ingested by a pet, could cause stomach upset.
  • Decorations can be hazardous. Pets may love to play with all the new decorations added to homes for the holidays. Traditional decorations such as ribbons and tinsel--when ingested by a pet--can become lodged in their intestines and cause blockages. Also, watch out for glass ornaments, especially with cats. If chewed, glass particles can cause internal bleeding and damage to a pet’s mouth.
  • Live floral arrangements should be appropriately placed! Many holiday floral arrangements are made with a beautiful variety of plants. Lilies, along with mistletoe and holly berries, can be toxic to your pet, so careful placement must be considered.

Moreno Valley Animal Services wishes all residents and their pets a safe an enjoyable holiday season! Remember to be prepared and keep a veterinarian’s phone number handy just in case of an emergency.

For more information, please contact Moreno Valley Animal Services at 951.413.3790.