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Holiday hazards for your pets
From eNews,, December 18, 2003
'Tis the season to be jolly, and your pets may enjoy it as much as you do. But according to the University of Minnesota Extension Service, pet encounters with certain holiday treats and decorations may dampen the merry-making and call for the vet. Here are tips to keep in mind.
- Keep pets away from alcohol and chocolate, which can be life-threatening. If you have company, ask them not to feed your dog or cat and remind them to place food and drinks out of your pet's reach. If your pet staggers, loses coordination, or is sleeping so soundly during or after a party that you can't wake it, take it to the vet immediately.
- Holiday turkeys and hams can make your pet sick. Dogs are especially prone to severe pancreatitis from eating foods they are not accustomed to.
- Be careful with poinsettias. Although not severely toxic, poinsettias can give your cat an upset stomach and cause some vomiting. Give the kitty wheatgrass to chew on. This may keep it happy and away from your houseplants.
- If you have a Christmas tree, secure it to a wall to prevent it from falling over. Cats like to climb it while dogs prefer to rub against it. Avoid edible and breakable ornaments. Tape light cords against the tree or a wall, so they aren't lying on the floor for Spot and Puff to chew on.
- Avoid tinsel altogether if you have young, playful pets. They'll see it as a moving, irresistible toy.
- Give your pets plenty of attention and exercise during the holiday season. This may lessen the chances that they'll get into mischief.
- Check with your veterinarian for more suggestions.