Give Your Pet The Gift Of Holiday Safety

As we head into the thick of the gift-giving season, make sure you’re giving your pets the gift of holiday safety! It’s easy to get wrapped up in our pets’ adoring, curious and begging eyes, but now is not the time to indulge them in table scraps, an abundance of treats or cute holiday toys with jingle bells or other choking hazards.

Here are some essential tips and important pet facts to help you keep your furry friends safe this holiday season:

Food
While it’s true that sharing a tiny bit of turkey with your dog or other pet may seem harmless, you may want to reconsider! Think about it … when was the last time you saw your dog politely sampling just a bite of anything? A “tiny bit of turkey” doesn’t exist in a dog’s world! And unfortunately, too much turkey, particularly the skin, bones and fatty parts, can lead to a serious and sometimes fatal condition called pancreatitis.

But turkey isn’t the only danger. Too much of any fatty foods, including those delicious holiday table sides or desserts, and too many seasonally-decorated dog treats that are high in fat content, can cause pancreatitis in dogs.

Pancreatitis occurs when fatty foods cause a pet’s pancreas to become inflamed and begin leaking digestive enzymes, which in turn start breaking down intestinal tissue. Although symptoms are not always apparent, they can include poor appetite, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain. Treatment may include hospitalization, IV fluids, pain relievers, anti-nausea medications, antibiotics and even plasma transfusions.

The best rule of thumb is to stick to your pet’s normal diet and avoid introducing too much of anything new.

Decorations
As mentioned in our “It’s All Fun And Games, Until …” blog, there is a significant increase in ER visits during the holiday months due to injuries caused by holiday cooking accidents, decorating hazards and house fires. And those holiday-related injuries aren’t exclusive to humans! Our fur babies can just as easily (and often easier) wind up in a dangerous situation due to lack of holiday precautions. To keep your pets safe from injury when your home is decked out, consider these tips:
When choosing a location to display your decorated tree, choose a room that your pet can’t access. If your home has an open-floor plan, making it harder to isolate your tree from your pet, consider using some temporary pet gates to secure an area.
Poinsettias, mistletoe and other popular holiday and winter plants can be very poisonous to animals. Display your plants in a room that your pet can’t access, or on a high shelf that is out of reach.
Make sure strands of lights and electrical plugs are safely blocked and out of reach to your pet.
Never leave lit candles on low tables or ledges that your pets can get to.
If your pet gets nervous around guests, have a safe place away from guests for him/her to rest during social gatherings.

Santa Suits
Have you noticed the many adorable pet holiday costumes and accessories available in stores these days? While it’s fun to dress up our dogs and cats in seasonal-themed attire, it is important to remember that those santa suits, jingle bell collars, etc., can lead to harm. Never leave your pet unsupervised when he/she is “suited up” for holiday cheer.

Source: Prime Lending - Kim Kelman 210-421-8854