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Thanksgiving poses pet problems

Published 8:49pm Wednesday, November 21, 2012

As you’re cooking the turkey and entertaining family today, make sure you take care of your four-legged friends.

The holidays bring a host of dangers to pets, such as unfamiliar people in the house and unusual plants and food. Pet owners can save themselves a trip to the emergency veterinarian simply by being vigilant.

Following are some tips:

  • Make sure pets remain safely inside as guests and deliveries come and go. Doors that are left unintentionally open can result in your pet being hit by a car. If possible, give them a “safe room” with their bed and a favorite toy, but be sure to check on them frequently.
  • Make sure to seal garbage bags and place them in a tightly covered container to prevent your pets from getting at things that could injure them.
  • Bones from turkey, ham and chicken can splinter and cause the intestinal tract to become perforated.
  • Pets should be kept on their normal diets. Many spices and foods that are safe for humans are not safe for animals, including onions, garlic, chocolate, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, raw or undercooked food and the sugar substitute xylitol.
  • Foods high in fat content can cause pancreatitis in pets.
  • Keep pets from eating poinsettias, mistletoe, holly and Christmas trees. They are toxic to pets.
  • If you are traveling with your pets, make sure they are comfortable. Veterinarians can assist with herbal remedies or medications that can help calm them.
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