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PET-SAFE HOLIDAY TIPS
If the family dog’s routine is upset by the holidays and he relieves frustration on holiday decorations or foods, be prepared for these serious risks!
July 1, 2019 | TheDogPress.com
Stella Starr, Pet Perspectives
Food first. Most traditional holiday foods are high-fat like Thanksgiving gravy or poultry skin, cured Christmas ham (loaded with nitrates) or 4th of July hot dogs can upset a dog’s digestive system. Limit food treats to small nibbles and never at the table.
Salmonella is a bacterial organism often associated with and around food. Salmonella can be transferred by eating or handling infected food (including contaminated pet food), food implements/utensils or food prep surfaces (instant information) says watch out for ii Salmonella symptoms (opens in pop window).
No holiday would be complete without candy for the kids but chocolate can be deadly to dogs. Perhaps more so because ii chocolate poisoning symptoms Instant Info can be delayed as much as 24 hours after ingesting.
Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, is common in chocolate, chewing gum, and candy so keep all candy bowls and snack trays well out reach of all dogs. Xylitol poisoning (NOT window, see links at end of page) can be fatal to your dog or a visitor’s dog. Also, if you offer pet treats, make sure they are not those deadly jerky treats made in China!
Also on the do-not-feed lists are garlic and onion, common in dressings, soups, and meat seasoning. I know dog owners use garlic for flea and tick control so it is surprising that dogs are not extinct! My cat's aren't crazy about it but I did some research and interestingly found no veterinary documentation of garlic or onion poisoning in pets. Use your own judgment!
Holiday tables are special and pre-dinner snacks often include fruit. We advise not letting dogs nibble on grapes because of the toxic sprays, see Grapes-Are-Poison Myth. If a guest’s dog gets sick (more likely from travel, crating, or general excitement) you don’t want the owner doesn’t blame it on your centerpiece.
Many people travel with their pets during the Holidays. Wisely, they don’t want to board them, especially at the veterinarian’s where there are sick pets! Short drive or long, refer to Car Safety & Winter Weather Tips from canine expert-AKC Judge Gammill. Also be sure your dog has a safe, escape-proof collar.
Be a mindful owner and don’t let your dog jump up on guests, especially with long toenails or un-groomed coat! Same for cats that leave hair on any wool garment! If a dog is not trustworthy and well-mannered with children, he should be left in the car or tucked in a crate with his favorite chew toy.
Guests will likely arrive bundled in coats and in those pockets may be medications that could make your dog really sick. Be sure to hang coats in a closet or pile them on the guest bed with the door kept shut! Whatever the holiday occasion, think about your centerpiece setting and these family dog safety tips. If your guests bring their dogs and they are allowed to go outside, be especially aware of any dangerous or hazardous plants in the landscaping.
If your vet is closed, among the best phone numbers to call in an emergency is 1-800-222-1222 the National Poison Control Center which will automatically connect to their free service in your state. Depending on who answers, you may get quick, basic information for animal poisoning and it is free, 24-7.
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