Holiday Tips for Pet Owners

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The holiday season is upon us. As you gear up for the holidays, it is important to try to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. The following is a list of unhealthy treats, toxic plants, dangerous decorations and other helpful tips to keep your companions healthy and happy.
● Christmas Tree: Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall,
causing possible injury to your pet. Be sure to cover tree water with a drape or
tarp. Tree water may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset and
stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria. Your pet could end up
with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.
● Avoid Mistletoe & Holly: Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer
nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and
cardiovascular problems. Also many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure
in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or
plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.
● Decorations: Be sure decorations are out of reach. Pets, especially kitties,
love sparkly, light-catching “toys” that are easy to bat around and carry in their
mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed
digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery.
● Wired Up: Keep wires and batteries out of paws’ reach. A wire can deliver a
potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to
the mouth and esophagus.
● Watch what they eat: By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and
anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an
enterprising pet will go to chomp on something yummy? Sweets, fatty, spicy
and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry
friends. Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended
plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.
● Filling the stocking: Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible,
Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed
to be safely digestible. Long, stringy things are a feline’s dream, but the most
risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck
in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball
that’s too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer.
● A Room of Their Own: If you are planning a festive get together or having
family stay for the holidays, give your pet his own quiet space to
retreat-complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Also, share house
rules. Politely request that your guests don’t feed extra table scraps or treats
to your pets, or that they ask your permission first.
● New Year’s Noise: As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat’s intestines, if ingested,
perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears. And remember that many pets are also
scared of fireworks, so be sure to secure them in a safe, escape-proof area as midnight approaches.
Source: Carly Perry, City Veterinary Hospital, Tulsa , Oklahoma.

Love, The PetsWell Team

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