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Holiday Advice from Your Friends at Ark Animal Hospital

holiday1The holiday season is upon us. There will be lots of tempting food around; not only for you, but your pet will be tempted too. Resist this temptation. Here are a few safety tips for you and your pet.

Feeding your pet turkey and dressing can cause an upset stomach. These foods, as well as gravy to “season” dog food, are to rich for their digestive tracts. Feeding people food will lead to finicky eaters and begging which can be a difficult habit to break.

Bones are a no no. These can be dangerous and potentially life threatening. Bones especially from a turkey can splinter easily and puncture the stomach or intestines causing pain and sometimes death.
holiday2

You may have many visitors during the holidays. These strange visitors can sometimes disrupt your pet’s normal routine. Make sure that your pet receives lots of attention during this time. Maintain your pets normal feeding, walking and potty routine.

If you are traveling for the holidays make sure you plan ahead and stay at pet friendly hotels. Pack your pet’s favorite toy and blanket so that they will feel secure in the strange environment. Be sure to carry along any medication, food and treats that your pet requires for the trip. If this is not possible a pet sitter may be your best option.

Decorating the tree can be fun for the whole family, but be careful your pet may decide that the tinsel is better to eat than to place on the tree. It is best to hang your favorite ornaments higher on the tree out of reach for dogs to chew or cats to grab. These tantalizing ornaments may not be toxic but could cause a blockage if swallowed.

Occasionally children will feel the need to decorate the cat or dog. Ribbons are especially dangerous if tied around the neck, ear, tail or leg. The ribbon can tighten which can prevent blood flow to a limb or choking if placed around the neck.

holiday3Plants are another potential problem during the holidays.

  • Holly and mistletoe are very toxic especially the berries. 
  • Fir, pine and cedar, although smell wonderful during the holidays, have low toxic levels but are very irritating to the digestive tract.  
  • Finally, poinsettias – the leaves and stem are low in toxicity but the milky substance is very irritating in the oral cavity and the gastrointestinal tract.

In the event of an emergency, contact Ark right away. If it's after hours, contact your local Veterinary Emergency Hospital - 904-642-4357.

Have a safe and wonderful Holiday season!

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