Last week, in Part 1, we covered some seasonal problems to watch out for when it comes to owning a pet. This week, we'll look at a few common problems related to pets and food.
One of the greatest things about the holidays is getting to spend extra time with family and friends; however, with these festive gatherings, comes lots of food, which could spell trouble for your pets. According to Dr. Marty Becker, the Chief Veterinary Correspondent of Dogster magazine, the holidays also mark the busiest time of year for animal poison control centers. (Do you know the number to call if you think your pet has injested a poison?)*
Dr. Becker has 3 reasons for this:
1) Pets may have easier access to hazardous foods than normal, as given all the new people and excitement around the house, sneaking that brownie off the table becomes merely a waiting game, not a problem diverted. Additionally, guests may bring edible treats that invariably don't make it to the kitchen. If you're having a large group over, be sure to designate someone to be in charge of all food items brought into the house, so that everything ends up in the designated area without pawprints. If you're not sure what foods are poisonous for your pet, here's a list for cats and here's a list for dogs.
2) The holidays bring lots of decorations and guests, both things that frequently introduce new edible and chewable opportunities for your pets. Be sure to keep things like tinsel, candles, ornaments, and ribbon out of paws' reach. The holidays are also a time for new plants. While not deadly, be aware that poinsettia, holly and mistletoe can cause GI irritation in both dogs and cats.
3) Some overnight guests may bring medication with them when they come, placing them on the nightstand - just the perfect height for some dogs. If you see any low-lying prescriptions around your house, encourage your guests to place them higher up, so as not to entice any 4-legged friends.
Dr. Becker also adds to watch out for a few different health conditions triggered by overeating and fatty foods, pancreatitis and bloat, which are not only painful, but also potentially life threatening. You can learn more about pancreatitis here and bloat here.
Adapted tips from 5 Seasonal Oops to Watch Out For in the October/November issue of Dogster