Dr. Kellee Campbell and Dr. Susan Waage of Dessau Veterinary Clinic are warning pet owners that many holiday foods, decorations and activities can pose hazards to pets. They say their Austin animal clinic hopes to see fewer holiday pet emergencies this year than in years past. They urge pet owners to keep their pets' diet and schedule as normal as possible and to block access to Christmas decorations. They also urge people to adopt pets responsibly and not surprise people with pets as gifts.
Dr. Campbell says, "It happens every year--dogs get into the fudge and cats knock over Christmas trees; we see a lot of emergency visits every holiday season. Sometimes pets can't help themselves; everything smells so good and looks so pretty! So it's up to us humans to help them stay out of trouble."
Dr. Waage says that holiday foods and plants are some of the top holiday pet hazards to watch out for. She says that ingredients like onions, chocolate, avocados, raisins, grapes, uncooked yeast dough, nuts and foods containing Xylitol are toxic to pets. She adds that turkey bones can also cause choking and other injuries. Dr. Campbell adds that popular holiday plants like poinsettias, lilies, mistletoe and holly are also poisonous for pets, and that even the water from the Christmas tree stand can breed bacteria that upset pets' stomachs.
Their Austin animal clinic recommends that people use baby gates to surround Christmas trees, or block the entrance of any room with tempting holiday decorations. Dr. Waage says that popular and shiny decorations like ornaments, tinsel, bows, wrapping paper and other small objects or toys can cause choking, cuts or intestinal blockages that require emergency care. She also warns people to keep candles and strings of lights high and out of reach so they cannot cause burns, shocks or fire hazards if knocked over or chewed on.
Pets can also get stressed out, act aggressively or even try to bolt out the door during noisy parties, warns Dr. Campbell. She urges pet owners to set aside a crate in a quiet room of the house where pets can rest safely during any festivities, and recommends keeping pets to their normal pet food and exercise schedule to cut down on uncertainty for the pet. She also recommends scheduling pet boarding for families going out of town.
"Giving pets as gifts is also a big problem," adds Dr. Waage. "Adopting a pet is a big commitment and everyone involved needs to be ready for the responsibility. Adoption a wonderful thing to do; just make sure everyone is committed because it's for life!"
Dessau Veterinary Clinic in Austin is a full-service animal hospital providing pet wellness care, grooming, boarding and pet emergency care during their office hours. To learn more, visit their website: http://dessauvetclinic.com.
CONTACT: Dessau Veterinary Clinic, 1-888-667-5235
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