Humane Society offers tips to keep your pets healthy over the holidays | News
(KFVS) - The Humane Society of Missouri is offering some tips to keep your pets happy and health this holiday season.
The Humane Society says many pet owners don't know the hidden dangers in holiday treats and trimmings.
According to the humane society, human foods, fed even in small amounts, can cause stomach upset in pets, or in certain instances, result in severe problems. Some popular holiday treats that can cause harm to your pet include:
- Chocolate - Baked goods and candies containing chocolate are potentially lethal if ingested by pets. Baking ingredients like baking cocoa and semi-sweet chocolate can be more dangerous to pets than the finished product they go into.
- Foods your pet isn't used to - Avoid feeding your pet anything they aren't used to eating. Just because your pet regularly enjoys certain items from one food group does not mean they can safely eat everything else from that same group. For instance, even if your pets are accustomed to eating chicken, turkey can still make them sick.
- Poultry and ham bones - Chicken and turkey bones are hollow and shatter easily, causing little shards to possibly get caught in your pet's throat, cause an obstruction, or even perforate through the lining of the stomach or intestine. Ham bones usually have a lot of salt on them which could cause stomach upset in your dog or cat.
- Fat drippings - Too much of a good thing can become an upset stomach for your pet. Fat drippings from your turkey pan are too much for your pet to handle. Do not pour this over their usual pet food as an added treat.
- Pumpkin - Pumpkin is a natural stool softener for dogs and cats and can cause diarrhea.
The human society says to make sure you secure your garbage when the meal is over so your pet doesn't gobble up all of those leftovers while you are enjoying your after-dinner coffee.
Other possible pet toxins include:
- Cocktails should be kept out of reach from pets. If ingested, they could make your pet ill
- Poinsettia, mistletoe and many traditional holiday plants can be mildly toxic to pets. Keep plants well out of reach or consider using artificial versions
- Tinsel, ornaments, lights and other holiday decor can be tempting and hazardous for pets. Use caution when deciding where to place decorations.
The humane society also recommends:
- Be sure to secure you Christmas tree so it doesn't fall over onto your pet. Stagnant tree water can also cause nausea or diarrhea, if ingested by your pet
- Make sure burning candles are out of reach. Pets could burn themselves or knock one over, starting a fire
- It's not uncommon for pets to become easily frightened and stressed during the commotion of holiday gatherings or loud fireworks on New Year's Eve. Consider keeping your pet in a quiet area away from the festivities
- Inform your guests of the rules when they arrive so they aren't trying to get on your pet's good side through food. Instead, have them hand your pet one of their usual treats to help them get acquainted
- Also, be sure your guests are reminded to watch the doors and gates as they enter or leave. Many pets are lost during the holiday season, some never found again. Make sure your pet has a collar with current identifying tags and, for more permanent identification, have your pet microchipped
If your pet does become ill, you can call the Humane Society of Missouri Veterinary Centers at 314-951-1534, your veterinarian or, after hours, the St. Louis Animal Emergency Clinic.
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