Tips keep pets safe during the holidays

Dear Readers: 'Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry, but be careful what you share with your pets. The holidays might put you in a giving mood, but resist the temptation to feed your pets holiday foods:
UBones from turkey, chicken and even steak are a choking hazard and can get stuck in a pet's throat, stomach or intestines.
UDon't feed them fatty foods! This can often make pets sick and even cause death. It's called "garbage-can syndrome."
UPlants can be dangerous, too, so keep them out of reach. Holly and mistletoe in particular are extremely poisonous when eaten.
UPets love to chew on electrical cords. So, place the cords carefully and take care with burning candles, the Christmas tree or anything your pet (especially cats) could accidentally knock over or hit with a large, furry, wagging tail.
UHang sharp or breakable ornaments and stringy tinsel high enough that your pet can't get at them.
UAnd if you're planning a large get-together, do your pets a favor and put them in a safe place. They won't get stepped on, and you won't have to worry about how they react to your guests. Heloise
Dear Readers: Irma Ward of Middletown, N.J., sent us a photo of her dog Luvee in a basket of flowers. Irma says that Luvee is really a basket full of love, and that everyone loves her! This photo looks like a professional portrait. To see the photo of Luvee, please visit my Web site at and click on This Week's Pet. Heloise
Dear Heloise: This is in regard to a reader who wanted to know how to keep toilet paper from being unrolled by her cat.
Here is a good way to keep the toilet paper handy that will also keep the cat from pulling it out: Take an empty toilet-paper tube and crush it so it will fit into the new roll being put on. Bingo -- no more easy rolling for the cat, and good for her and her husband. Helen Kegerreis, Harrisburg, Pa.
Dear Heloise: I bought a plastic exercise ball for my son's hamster. I wanted to pass along a caution. When you put the hamster in the ball, it must be supervised continuously. It would be easy for the hamster to roll down stairs, roll under things and get trapped, or roll over a heater vent or a multitude of other potential dangers. So, keep an eye on it. A reader in Colorado
Hamsters can make wonderful pets. You do need to keep an eye on them while they are in their cages, too. They can chew through plastic tunnels, and they are excellent escape artists. Heloise
Dear Heloise: When traveling with my pet, I take several sturdy fast-food containers along. They are great as food and water containers. They last the entire trip and can just be tossed when you're finished with them. G.P. in Illinois
King Features Syndicate

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