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Pet Wellness

A Veterinarian Offers 5 Holiday Safety Tips for Your Pets

Whether your holiday plans include travelling across the country, hosting a large gathering or just snuggling under the mistletoe, your pet will face a multitude of temptations and potentially dangerous situations.

“Veterinarians see a spike in the number of emergency calls during the holiday season. The very things that make holidays festive for us can be fatal to our pets,” says Dr. Mike Topper, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). “Turkey, tinsel, greasy foods, mistletoe, Christmas trees, chocolates and baked goods can all result in an emergency veterinary visit.

 “Many of the worst poisonings during the holiday season occur when we’re distracted while preparing for guests or not at home,” he continues. “Your pet has a sensitive nose, so they could get into the trash, wrapped candies or food in holiday packages. Place these items out of reach from your pets.”

The AVMA highlights 5 festive aspects of the holidays that pose a risk to your pet’s safety.

1. Travel

Plan your route and prepare ahead of time for any special needs your pet may have whether flying, driving or taking the train. Bring the phone number of an emergency veterinary clinic located at your destination.

2. Food

Keep people food away from pets. If you want to share holiday treats with your pets, make or buy treats formulated just for them. Chocolate, baked goods and sweets made with xylitol, turkey and turkey skin and yeast dough can be especially hazardous for pets.

3. Decorations

Greenery, lights and Christmas trees pose risky temptations for our pets.

4. Visitors

Visitors can upset pets, as can the noise and excitement of holiday parties. Even pets that aren’t normally shy may become nervous in the hubbub that can accompany a holiday gathering. should have access to a comfortable, quiet place inside if they want to retreat.

5. An empty house

Unplug decorations while you’re not around as cats, dogs and other pets are often tempted to chew electrical cords. Take out the trash so your pets can’t get to it.

Sharon Curtis Granskog, Associate Director, Media Relations, American Veterinary Medical Association, [email protected]

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