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The holiday season is a time for celebrating. Should it be the same for your pets? The answer is yes. Taking a few precautions can keep your pets healthy and save you from rushing to the veterinary clinic. The majority of pet emergencies in the holiday season are due to eating inappropriate foods. These foods can lead to upset stomachs, pancreatitis, and some are even poisonous to our pets. Some pets can eat a small amount of cooked turkey. Never feed turkey skin, fat, or bones. Turkey bones splinter easily and if eaten can injure the stomach or intestines. Foods to avoid altogether include: grapes, raisins, salty foods, onions, garlic, chocolate, nuts, sweets, and even sugar free sweets or gum.  Decorative plants can also be poisonous to our pets. Keep them out of reach or don’t bring them in at all. Plants that can be poisonous or cause upset stomachs include: mistletoe, holly, lilies, and poinsettias.  Another precaution important to cat owners is to keep strings, ribbons, tinsel, and bows out of reach.
Christmas trees are especially appealing to cats. Cats view a decorated tree as their own personal cat tree with convenient toys placed all around. Securing the ornaments, using non breakable ornaments, and avoiding ornaments at the base of the tree can discourage your pet from playing with them. Keep electric cords and light strings out reach. Live Christmas trees can also cause allergic reactions in some dogs and cats. As the tree dries it releases pollen into your home that can cause symptoms such as itching, sneezing, and irritated eyes.

It is important to ensure your pets have a collar, microchip, and tag with a current phone number. Having company allows pets to easily slip out the door unnoticed. Bring your pet’s vaccines up to date especially if they are going to the kennel, or if friends and family bring their pets into your home. Taking these few precautions can ensure your holiday memories will be happy and healthy.

Precautions for Pets During the Holidays

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