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Healthy Pets for the Holidays: How to Keep the Hazards at Bay

JACKSON, Miss– Nothing interrupts Christmas like an emergency vet trip. News Mississippi asks the vet how you can keep the pets healthy and the vet bills down around the holidays. 

The holidays are meant to be a joyous time and staying away from the pet hospital can add to that joy. Several hazards come with the Christmas presents, treats and decorations, but knowing how to manage them will keep Fido from visiting the vet.

The first thing that comes to mind is the Christmas tree lights and decorations, but veterinarian Dr. Troy Majors says there’s more to think about.

“The water used to keep the Christmas tree alive,” says Majors, “has an additive to it.” Majors says the additives can bring stomach trouble and vomiting to pets that take a swig of the tree water.

“Tinsel isn’t as dangerous since it’s the plastic stuff now,” says Majors, “but cats like to play with it and could swallow that.”

Cats also have a Christmas nemesis that is usually found inside during the holidays.

“Poinsettias have been oversold as toxic to cats,” says Majors, “they salivate and vomit, but even then only if large bits of the plants are consumed.”

Both cats and dogs can react negatively to table scraps, especially if they are greasy, fatty, or spoiled. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can cause pancreas and stomach problems, and death in cases of large consumption.

“A lot of people will feed their dog what they wouldn’t eat,” says Majors, “and that causes stomach issues.”

It seems like there could be trouble at every well-trimmed corner, but the solution to pet safety during the holidays is simple.

“Keep the temptation of of reach,” says Majors, “if they can’t get to it, they can’t eat it.”

 

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