Enjoy the Holidays–safely!

Once again the holiday season is here.  Every year we see cats and dogs that have been given some of the holiday food and we think we are sharing with our pets but actually we are putting them at risk of illness, some cases that are life threatening requiring hospitalization.  Vomiting and diarrhea are 2 common results of feeding your pets holiday food.  Another serious condition is pancreatitis, which is a very severe inflammation of the pancreas that, left untreated, can kill your pet.  Also be careful of giving your pets new treats they are not used to having.  A sudden diet change (or introduction of a new treat) can trigger the same problems as table food. 

Also remember that your pet’s sense of smell is about 10,000 times stronger than humans so they will seek out candy and food during this time of year.  Chocolate is poisonous to pets and a lot of candy has a high fat content which also increases the risk for pancreatitis.  Always make sure to keep candy and holiday foods in a secure place where your dog or cat will not get into it. On the counter or table is not good enough.  Store it in the fridge or the microwave, somewhere you are certain they can’t get to it. 

Holiday plants and decorations can also pose a hazard.  Poinsettia plants are toxic and tinsel and decorations can be swallowed and cause serious damage often requiring surgical intervention.  Pet toys and chews can pose a choke hazard as well.  Always supervise your pets play with their toys and when they become damaged discard them and purchase new ones. 

So, enjoy the holidays–with your pets–but use common sense and keep them safe!

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