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It’s the most wonderful time of the year for people and their pets alike! Snuggling by the fireplace and eating delicious holiday food is part of what people love about the holidays and our pets like to join in on the fun. Here are some tips to keep your pets safe and happy during this wonderful time!

Avoid Feeding Your Pet “People” Food

It’s easy for pets to get very sick on even a small amount of turkey and gravy. It might seem like a special treat to share your holiday meals and treats with your pet, but be aware of the great risk of digestive issues that may result. Diarrhea, blood in the stool, vomiting, and pancreatitis (a life-threatening condition) are all commonly seen by veterinarians after holidays. So avoid the temptation to share. Keep food pushed away from the edges of tables and encourage guests to avoid dropping food on the floor or feeding your furry family members.

Chocolate is Toxic!

Speaking of people food, remember that chocolate is very toxic to dogs. Even a small amount can cause anything from mild illness to death, depending on the type and amount eaten. Dark chocolate is particularly dangerous. Chocolate is a favorite stocking-stuffer, so keep those stockings out of reach of pets and avoid leaving any people treats in your pet’s reach.

Watch Out for Cord Chewers

Some pets, especially cats, love to chew on electric cords. Lights strung on the tree are in easy reach for nibbling! If your cat or dog likes to chew cords, consider wrapping the lights high enough from the bottom of the tree to keep them out of reach.

Ornament Alert

Some pets will take ornaments from the tree and bat them around or chew on them—watch for glass ornaments that could break in a pet’s mouth or underfoot, as well as stringy or hard ornaments that could be swallowed and cause intestinal damage or blockage. Look at every small object or string in the house as a “PFB”: Potential Foreign Body!

Baby It’s Cold Outside!

When the temperature drops, be sure to keep your pet nice and warm. Pets who live outside need a warm shelter and access to water that isn’t frozen. Watch out for salt on sidewalks and roadways when out for walks—salt and some of the chemicals now in use to melt snow can be very irritating to soft paws. Also watch for ice balls between toes and foots pads—extended periods of ice contact can lead to soreness or even frost bite.

Avoid Spilled Antifreeze

Anti-freeze is extremely toxic to pets, causing kidney failure and death in a short time. Antifreeze is very sweet and many animals want to lick it off the garage floor or out of containers. Keep bottles of antifreeze out of reach of pets and if you see a spill in the garage or street, do what you can to clean it up or avoid it. If you suspect your pet has lapped up antifreeze, call your veterinarian right away!

The Holidays truly are a wonderful time of the year—have a beautiful, safe Christmas and New Year with your furry family!


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