Keep your pets safe during the holidays

Make sure Fido has just a happy holiday as you do. Credit: Metro File
Make sure Fido has just a happy holiday as you do.
Credit: Metro File

The emergency veterinarians at the Center for Animal Referral & Emergency Services (CARES) in Langhorne have seen it all during the holiday season, from cats with tongue lacerations, to dogs who eat holiday bows with metal wires. This time of year can provide a lot of excitement for humans, but can be quite troublesome for pets. Here are their three ways to keep your pets safe through 2013.

1. Keep all chocolate and raisins out of reach
Many households have extra chocolate on hand right now and it just keeps on coming through the holiday season. Dogs chocolate toxicity have symptoms of excitement, tremors, seizures, abnormal heart rhythms, vomiting, diarrhea and more. Sometimes their heart rate skyrockets! Dark chocolate is more toxic than milk chocolate. A 35-pound dog would be expected to fall ill following ingestion of 34 oz. of milk chocolate, but could get ill on as little as 3.8 oz. of dark/unsweetened chocolate. That’s just one small candy bar. Another dangerous treat is raisins, which can cause kidney failure in dogs. For some dogs, eating just a very small amount of raisins can cause life threatening disease.

2. Fatty foods can pose a health risk
Most emergencies this time of year come from the food that pets eat. When you sit down to that big turkey or ham dinner this season, consider what you are giving your pet. Turkey scraps and other holiday meals can be very fatty or greasy, which can lead to pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). In mild cases of pancreatitis, you may notice that your pet won’t eat or they may vomit. Severe cases of pancreatitis can be fatal.

Bones from the family meal are also not a good idea. These bones can not only irritate the stomach, but they can get stuck in the mouth or throat, causing a pet to salivate excessively and drool. Even worse, if a bone gets lodged internally, it could require surgical removal. Be sure to hide the trash can from your pet on holidays, so they are not digging bones or other fatty foods out of the trash.

If you want to give your pet a special treat during holiday celebrations, ask your family veterinarian if a carrot or apple would be a good choice for your pet. Your pet will thank you for the special attention and you will be less likely to have a hospital visit.

3. Watch out for the holiday decor and presents
Cat owners should consider an alternative to buying tinsel for the holiday tree. Cats are attracted to the shiny strands of tinsel and they could easily swallow it. Tinsel can cause serious intestinal problems that often require costly surgery and can be fatal.

If you are a cat owner and want to brighten your home with flowers, avoid True Lilies (Lilium). These flowers, when ingested, cause kidney failure in cats. Keep this in mind also if you are bringing a fresh bouquet to a friend or family member’s home.

A sweet-smelling home is always a nice way to welcome visitors during the holidays, but potpourri should be kept out of reach of pets. Potpourri can cause gastrointestinal problems, including vomiting and diarrhea, if eaten.

Finally, as you unwrap your holiday gifts, be sure to watch out for ribbons, bows and small toys, all of which can be ingested by your pet. Keep an empty trash bag nearby so you can dispose of wrapping and ribbons immediately.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.