The holiday season is a wonderful time of year. We look forward to sharing time with family and friends, decorating, eating extra special dishes, enjoying holiday music and festivities. Many people include their pets in the festivities as well! There are a just a few precautions that pet parents need to take to keep their pet's safe this holiday season. Dr. Rusty Tracy, D.V.M. lists the 5 most common things to watch out for.
Human foods that are high in fat can be especially harmful to your pets. Since dogs and cats are accustomed to normal to low fat diets, ingesting fatty foods can cause weakness and pain as well as severe stomach upset including throwing up, diarrhea, and severe pancreatitis which is potentially life-threatening. If your pet exhibits several of these symptoms repeatedly, contact your veterinarian right away. Avoid giving your dog ham, fatty table scraps and left overs, and dark turkey meat.
Bones & Other Choking Hazards
Ham bones & turkey bones are choking hazards for your pet. While you may not be directly giving your pet leftovers or bones, many dogs and cats get into the trash. For this reason we recommend that you take your trash out quickly. During this time of year we see an increase in dogs coming in for foreign body removals of disposable plates, silverware, or other items that had food remnants on them.
Chocolates & Sweets
Candy, chocolate, and other sweets that contain xylitol can be toxic for both dogs and cats. Xylitol is just a sugar substitute found in some sugar-free candies, gum and recipes. When ingested by pets, xylitol may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and in severe cases, liver failure. Make sure that you put your sweets far out of reach from your pets.
Certain foods like nuts & raisins can also cause stomach upset for your pets. In high quantities, these can be toxic. Keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food. It's also okay to set some house rules for your guests and ask your them to not feed your pets.
Tinsel & Holiday Decorations
Cats are notorious for eating tinsel. This sparkling decoration attracts cats like nothing else, so it's best to use a different decoration for your tree. Tinsel is thin and sharp and can easily wrap itself around the intestines or ball up in the stomach once ingested. Dr. Tracy has had to do several surgeries to remove balls of tinsel from cat intestines. Lights are another thing to watch out for.
Dr. Rusty Tracy states, "You've got to watch out for cats getting up into the tree and electrocuting themselves. They like to chew on those lights! You don't have to get rid of all your decorations; it's just a time of year to be cautious."
Be mindful of where you place your electrical outlets, and if possible, keep them out of reach from your pet.
What To Do If Your Pet Is Ill
If you suspect your pet is ill, contact your veterinarian right away. If you are in Cypress, Texas or the surrounding areas, you can call us at 281-970-0601. Dr. Rusty Tracy, Dr. Tanner Tracy, and the staff at Tracy Animal Hospital are here to help. For after hours help, we recommend contacting BluePearl Veterinary Partners.
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