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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!
November 2022 update
Stella Starr, Pet Perspectives
Food first. Most holiday foods are high-fat and over-seasoned. Think about Thanksgiving gravy, cured Christmas ham (loaded with nitrates) poultry skin and 4th of July hot dogs ... all of which can really upset a dog’s digestive system.
Limit holiday food treats to small nibbles and never give them from the table. Only humans can eat from the table... Dogs and cats must learn not to ever touch food that isn't given from the hand or in their food bowl.
Salmonella is a bacterial associated with food, food implements/utensils or food prep surfaces. The editor will insert some useful info on that, a good reason to be careful about for left-overs or food brought by guests. ii Salmonella symptoms (Instant Info, 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 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 any visiting dogs. Xylitol poisoning can be fatal to your dog or a visitor’s dog.
On the do-not-feed lists for pets is garlic and onion, common in dressings, soups, and meat seasoning. I know a lot of 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 was amazed to find no veterinary documentation of garlic or onion poisoning in pets. I know dog breeders who use garlic to encourage picky dogs to eat better and they also say it discourages fleas. I use it a lot but you might worry about there being any garlic in your holiday meals.
Holiday tables are special and pre-dinner snacks often include fruit. Don't let dogs nibble on grapes because of the toxic sprays, see Grapes-Are-Poison Myth. I don't know but if a guest’s dog gets sick (more likely from travel, crating, or general excitement) you don’t want the owner to 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 Pet Safety Tips by canine expert-AKC Judge Gammill. Also be sure your dog has a safe, escape-proof identification collar.
If you have a dog don’t let it 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 well-mannered and used to 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 pet 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 safety for everyone. 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.
Holiday visits should be without incident but if you or your guests have pets, you should always know what to do in an emergency is 1-800-222-1222 the National Poison Control Center. That 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.
I hope this helps you have a wonderful pet-safe holiday. Please explore Dog Safety Tips by Katie Gammill and check out the displays below.
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