Thanksgiving Pet Safety
Food and Decorations
Thanksgiving is a special holiday, with decorations and an overabundance of food. Thanksgiving pet safety is of the upmost importance. While pets should be considered a part of the family, they should not eat the same as the 2-legged family members.
Human food can be very difficult for pets to digest. If it is fatty, their bodies cannot properly process it and that can lead to a life-threatening condition called pancreatitis. Even a small piece of turkey can have too much fat on it. Do not give him the turkey bones. They are soft and can break apart or splinter, causing an obstruction. Desserts often contain chocolate and/or xylitol, both of which are toxic. For a complete list of harmful foods visit the ASPCA/food safety .
When you are cleaning up after the feast, make sure the trash is out of the way. The smells in their will be too much for your furry family member to resist. Any spills should be cleaned up immediately.
Be very careful with decorative plants. A lot of holiday plants and flowers can be toxic to pets. This includes (but is not limited to) amaryllis, hydrangeas, baby’s breath and poinsettias. For a complete list visit the ASPCA/toxic plants .
Cats are very curious and will check out that candle with the open flame you have so beautifully displayed. Never leave a pet alone in a room with one. Pine cones, garland, and other small decorations can make for a fun toy (so they think) but can also cause a not so fun obstruction if it is ingested.
Traveling With a Pet
If you are taking your pet across state lines, make sure you have had a veterinarian first check him out completely and issue you a travel certificate. If you are flying, be sure to check with your airline to find out what their specific requirements are. If you are traveling internationally you must also find out the requirements in the country you are entering. Some are very strict and require treatments or vaccine way in advance, so make sure you start early. For more information on domestic travel you can visit USDA/pet travel.
All pets should be restrained while in the car. This means using a harness or carrier. Make sure to place them in the back, away from airbags. Not only is restraint safer for them, it also protects the driver from being distracted by a pet roaming freely in the car.
Tips for Valentine’s Day safety for your furry family member:
Chocolate. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, both of which are toxic to dogs, cats, and birds. The darker the chocolate, the more danger it poses. As little as 1 ounce of baker’s chocolate or gourmet dark chocolate can cause toxic effects in a mid-sized dog or cat. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning are vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, and restlessness. In severe cases, seizures and heart failure can occur.
Xylitol. Xylitol is gaining popularity as a sweetener in many candies, sugar-free gum, and baked goods. While xylitol is completely safe for human consumption, it is extremely toxic to dogs. Small amounts can cause low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure, and even death. Signs of xylitol poisoning develop within 15 minutes of xylitol ingestion, and may include vomiting, weakness, lack of coordination, tremors, seizures, and coma. The most recent information shows that xylitol is not known to be toxic to cats, but since it’s always better ‘to be safe than sorry’, keep all treats away from cats and dogs!
Plants. Some plants can be toxic to your pet. Lilies are especially toxic to cats, causing kidney failure, so be sure to keep lilies out of special Valentine’s Day arrangements in your home. Luckily roses, everyone’s favorite Valentine’s bouquet, are non-toxic to dogs, cats, and birds!
Cellophane and Ribbons. Even the crinkly cellophane that your plants or flowers come wrapped in can pose a threat to your pets. The crinkly sound may be appealing to a cat or young puppy as a play toy, but if ingested, it can become lodged in your pet’s digestive system. Be sure to dispose of the wrapping properly and don’t leave cellophane or foil wrapping on plants you may receive. Cats love ribbons but they can be swallowed as well.
This Valentine’s Day, keep all candies, chocolates, baked goods, flowers, and plants out of reach and away from curious pets. If you suspect that your pet has eaten a toxic product, contact your veterinarian right away. Your pet has a better chance of recovery if treated early.
For more information you can visit http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/
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