One of the pitfalls of the holidays is that families bring foreign objects such as Christmas trees, tinsel, poinsettias and ribbon into the home this time of year.
While these things may make the family's holiday brighter, they can be disastrous for pets.
As a result, pet-related emergencies increase each holiday season. However, according to BluePearl Veterinary Partners of Tampa Bay, many of these emergencies are avoidable if families take precautions.
Here are some safety tips for pets from BluePearl:
• 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 bones, chicken bones 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. High-fat foods can cause gastrointestinal irritations that cause vomiting and diarrhea.
• 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 them when they are young by taking them on trips. If needed, your veterinarian can assist with remedies to calm your pet.
“While we are always here to help, we truly hope preventable problems with pets are kept to the absolute minimum this holiday season," said Dr. Neil Shaw, chief medical officer of BluePearl.
If your regular veterinary is closed, the Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Care Center on Belcher Road in Largo is open 24 hours. Check the Largo Patch business directory for more local veterinarians.
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