Now that we are into the holidays, here are some tips on keeping your pet safe from Holiday Hazards

The last thing any pet owner wants to do on Thanksgiving or Christmas is rush their pet to the animal emergency room! But, the truth is that many pets are injured or poisoned during these holidays. How can you make sure your holiday doesn’t end in disaster?

During the holidays, most animal-related ER visits are due to eating something inappropriate. Some foods cause upset stomachs, some are poisonous, and some can cause life-threatening obstructions. We know that 60% of us will share our holiday meal with our pets, but you should follow a few basic guidelines.

A small amount of white turkey is an acceptable treat but definitely, avoid the turkey skin and the turkey bones! The skin is often fatty and can cause pets to develop pancreatitis, a painful inflammation of the pet’s pancreas.

Poultry bones, especially cooked, have the potential to both break off and cause a perforation of the digestive tract or, if large amounts are consumed, could cause an obstruction. Ham contains a huge amount of salt, nitrites, and fat which can cause severe diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort.

Other foods to avoid include grapes and raisins, excessively salty foods, foods flavored with onion or garlic powder, desserts, sweets, and gum containing Xylitol, and chocolates.

Dogs are genetically programmed to scavenge for their food. They just can’t help themselves if something is within reach. That’s why so many people have interesting stories about the turkey, roast, you insert the protein type, disappearing off the kitchen counter just before the dinner guests arrived.

All leftovers should be secured behind a pet-proof door. Remember, keep your Many items used in the meal preparation and then thrown away can be dangerous. A turkey string, foil wrappers, etc may smell like food and be eaten by a curious pet.

During family gatherings, it might be best to give your pets a special toy such as a Kong filled with dog treats to keep their minds off your meal and to decrease their anxiety. Also, monitor people going in and out of the front door. Pets might take advantage and try to escape.

Keep your veterinarian’s phone number and the local animal emergency hospital handy. A quick call to either of them can give you life-saving advice or even help you avoid a trip to the ER. Be sure to visit www.MyVNN.com to see important animal health videos.

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