The holidays are all about family, yet the four-legged members of the clan are often overlooked at this busy time of year. The veterinary team of Drs. Damian Battersby and Shelley Skopit at Park Animal Hospital in Darien offers these tips to keep your pet safe.
Foods: Love to share holiday treats with your pet? You’re not doing him any favors. Don’t give him chocolate. It contains theobromine that’s toxic to dogs. And keep Fido clear of anything with nuts, as they can create intestinal obstructions, especially in small breeds. As for that ham bone, don’t let your dog go there. It’s a choking hazard and can lead to intestinal lacerations.
Christmas trees: Beautiful, yes, but they’re potential booby traps for animals. Tinsel and ribbons are especially attractive to cats, but if they’re consumed they can cause intestinal obstructions.
Salt and ice melt: Buy a pet-friendly brand that won’t irritate paws.
Electrical cords: Put them where pets can’t get at them. Dogs are often rushed to the vet with electrical burns, along with respiratory and heart problems from chewing on cords.
Holiday plants: Poinsettias account for a big percentage of calls to vets at the holidays. While not deadly, they’re toxic and irritate the mouth and stomach. Mistletoe, on the other hand, can be lethally toxic for some pets. Why not kiss under the Milk-Bones this year?