LA Animal Services Offers Holiday Safety Tips for Pet Owners

LA Animal Services Media Contacts:
Justin Khosrowabadi, (213) 482-9551 or
Agnes Sibal-von Debschitz, (213) 482-9512 or

LA Animal Services Offers Holiday Safety Tips for Pet Owners

The winter holidays can be a stressful time for our four-legged friends, here are a couple of safety tips to help celebrate the season with them.

Los Angeles, December 20, 2019 – The holiday season is a joyous time of year when everyone is decorating, cooking, and coming together to celebrate and create memories with their family, including their furry family members. With all the holiday hustle and bustle, we can easily forget about the potential dangers that may come along with all the festivities, so LA Animal Services wants you to keep the following hazards in mind to keep your best buddy safe:

1. Beware of holiday décor. Our beloved pets often see these festive décor as something to eat or play with, but which can be very dangerous to them:

  • Tinsel. If consumed, can cause intestinal blockage, while breakable ornaments and other glass decorations can cause injuries. Place tinsel and fragile decorations up high and out of reach from your pet.
  • Electric lights and wires. If cords are chewed upon, can cause burns.
  • Christmas Trees. If you put up a Christmas tree, consider tying it down to a door frame so your pet doesn’t tip it over. If the tree is real, keep the water covered and inaccessible because the water may contain fertilizer and other harmful chemicals.

2. Watch out for these flowers and festive plants. You probably worry over poinsettias making your pets sick, and the truth is that these festive plants only cause mild to moderate gastrointestinal irritation. However, there are other seasonal foliage that you should be more wary of such as amaryllis, holly, lilies, and mistletoe that can be dangerous and even poisonous to pets who decide to eat them.

3. Keep away holiday feasts. We have a tendency to share our holiday meals with our pets, which often results in overindulgence. Even when we don’t purposely include them, the agile and creative dog or cat can capture a special treat from the kitchen counter, trash, or even the dining room table. Dogs and cats can suffer very serious and sometimes fatal consequences from turkey or chicken bones, consuming too much rich and fatty foods, yeast dough, chocolate and from just plain overeating. Instead of giving your companion animal leftovers, stop by a pet food store and purchase some new dog biscuits or cat treats.

4. Keep away from noisemakers. While celebrating, it is easy to forget that loud noises and celebratory poppers or noisemakers can scare your furry friend. Even if your pet doesn’t seem obviously upset by noisemakers and fireworks, they can still cause harm to pets if burned or if they accidentally ingest them. Try creating a safe place in your home where your pet can have some quiet space if needed.

5. Plan ahead. If you are not going to be home with your pet, unplug decorations, and take out the trash to make sure your pet doesn’t sneak any food scraps. If your pet is not acting like themselves, consult your veterinarian and make sure you know how to get to your 24/7 emergency veterinary clinic before there’s an emergency.

6. Always make sure your pet has up-to-date identification. If for any reason your pet escapes during the holiday hubbub, a collar with a current license and/or ID tag on them and a microchip that’s registered with your contact information, will help reunite you with your companion animal.

By keeping these precautions in mind, the holiday season can be enjoyable and safe instead of stressful for you and your two and four-legged family members.

Don’t have a furry family member to celebrate the holidays with? Stop by any of our six LA Animal Services Centers on December 21, 22, and 24 for our Holiday Adoption Event where we will have reduced adoption fees on all dogs and puppies, and waived adoption fees on all cats and kittens thanks to a generous grant from the ASPCA.

Los Angeles Department of Animal Services is one of the largest municipal shelter systems in the United States with six services centers serving approximately 60,000 animals annually and responding to 20,000 emergency calls involving an animal or person in danger. LA Animal Services promotes and protects the health, safety, and welfare of animals and people. Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.


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