Local veterinarians urge people to practice caution during the holiday season as there is a significant uptick in pet-related emergencies, many of which are avoidable.
Some of these problems include gastrointestinal irritations that cause vomiting and diarrhea, such as pancreatitis from eating foods high in fat and an increase in animals being struck by vehicles.
Here are some additional safety tips:
• Keep holiday decorations out of reach. Ingestion of metal or glass ornaments, ribbons and tinsel is a medical emergency. They can cause severe damage to the gastrointestinal tract.
• Place holiday plants high off the ground. Ivy, holly, poinsettia, lilies and evergreens can be toxic to animals if ingested.
• Seal garbage bags and place them in tightly covered containers to prevent pets from getting into something that could injure them.
• Keep pets away from turkey, chicken and ham bones that can splinter and perforate the intestinal tract.
• Keep your pets on their normal diets. Many spices and foods that are safe for humans are not safe for animals. Onions, garlic, chocolate, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, the sugar substitute xylitol, and raw or undercooked food can be poisonous to pets.
• Make sure as guests and deliveries come and go pets remain safely inside. Doors left open can result in your pet being hit by a car.
• If traveling with pets, make sure they are comfortable. Acclimate when they are young by taking them on trips. If needed, your veterinarian can assist with remedies to calm your pet.