Tis the Season for Pet Safety Tips

The house if filled with the aroma of a turkey roasting in the oven, cornbread stuffing, cranberry relish, and sweet pumpkin pie to tempt your taste buds.  But don’t forget the happy little furry feet following your every move!  It’s THANKSGIVING!
Many people share the family feast with their dog or cat in an offering of thanks and love.  Although an innocent and seemingly gracious and loving gesture, the truth is, it’s more loving NOT TO SHARE YOUR HOLIDAY MEALS WITH YOUR PET.  While it may seem that a little bit of turkey skin here and a little bit of stuffing there wouldn’t hurt, we know how quickly the pounds can add up over the Holiday Season for us.

Thomas Magnific, RPh Veterinary Compounding Specialist

Thomas Magnifico, RPh
Veterinary Compounding Specialist

One way to prevent over eating is to make sure your pet has no access to food left on counters or tables when no one is around.  After kitchen clean up is completed, make sure you take out the trash and dispose of it in a secure place where pets cannot get into it.  Even the best behaved and well trained pets may be too tempted with turkey bones, the string that ties the turkey legs together, or that little bit of Mom’s stuffing in the trash.

Holiday Food Dangers:

Cooked turkey, duck, geese, and other bird bones are dangerous to your pet.  They are hollow and can break or splinter easily, so dogs and cats usually won’t chew them thoroughly.  This results in sharp pieces that can choke your pet or block or tear their intestines.  A pet that has a bone fragment lodged in its intestines may not show symptoms for days.  When those symptoms do occur, the include: loss of appetite, depression, vomiting, or diarrhea.  Sometimes the bone will pass by itself; other times it may need to be surgically removed.

Another danger to dogs and cats is chocolate.  It contains a compound called theobromine.  It is highest in dark chocolate but even milk chocolate contains small amounts.  Chocolate can be fatal to your dog!!

When decorating your home for the holidays take time to think about your pets:

Dangerous Plants

Poinsettias and Mistletoe can be deadly when eaten so make sure they are out of reach.

Christmas trees- pets, especially cats, are very interested in trees and can climb and knock them down.  So make sure your tree is well secured.  If you have a live tree, DO NOT add chemical preservatives or aspirin to the water.  This could be toxic if your pet drinks it.

Holiday Decorations

Beware of tinsel; it can get stuck in your pet’s throat.

Place harmful  or glass ornaments higher on the tree so pets can’t reach.  And make sure any lower ornaments can’t be pulled off easily.

Angel hair (spun glass) is low toxicity; however,  it can cause irritation of the eyes, skin, and intestines.

Artificial snow is also low toxicity the dry particles are inert; however, toxicity if inhaled can occur.

And finally;

Always make sure you know the HOLIDAY HOURS of your Veterinarian, emergency pet clinic, and pharmacy so that you are PREPARED in case of an emergency.  Hopefully this won’t be necessary, but if you’re prepared you can react quickly which may minimize any injury to your pet.

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