Stay safe during the holiday and that includes your pets, too

Holidays should be a safe time for everyone - and that includes your pets.

The Georgia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has issued tips to keep your furry ones (and other pets as well) healthy.

Chocolate walnut brownies are a no-no. So are grapes.

Just say no, even when your pet begs.

It’s not just foods. Candy and other food wrappings can cause choking or an intestinal blockage.

Kevin Fowler, a veterinarian with Inman Animal Hospital, said he sees an increase in the number of animals brought into the hospital during the holidays.

“You would be absolutely surprised what they (pets) can eat,” he said. Fatty pieces of ham, Christmas ornaments or the hooks that attach them to the tree.

He said pet owners should monitor their pets, especially when they’re around strangers, family and children.

“If you feed them a lot of different foods they can get quite sick then you’re in the emergency room,” Fowler said. “It can range from a mild case of inflammation of the stomach or intestine to pancreatitis.”

Related: Is a good idea to give a pet for Christmas?

Related: 100-year-old man stays young helping pets find forever homes

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Chocolate of any kind is toxic for pets
  • Nuts (Almonds, moldy and non-moldy walnuts, pistachios, and macadamia nuts) can be toxic, causing seizures or neurological signs.
  • Fat, cooked or uncooked, can be also toxic or fatal to pets
  • Tinsel is shiny and gave move in the breeze, attracting immediate attention. While not toxic, it can twist and bunch in the stomach or intestines if ingested.
  • Holidays can be stressful for your pets. Make sure you have a quiet place for your pet to relax.
  • Plants are toxic to pets, or cause at leas some level of gastrointestinal upset.

  • A few that are commonly used during the holidays are mistletoe, poinsettia (the milky sap), holly (especially the berries), Christmas cactus and lilies.

  • Don’t let your pet eat the needles from the Christmas tree, since they can cause gastrointestinal irritation or even perforation.

  • Having house guests? Make sure they keep medicines - prescription and over-the-counter - in secure containers and out of the reach of your pets. Even a small amount ingested can cause harm.
  • Secure your tree so that a cat that likes to climb or a large dog with a happy, wagging tail won’t bring it down.

  • Keep sharp glass, paper, or aluminum ornaments out of pet’s reach; if they are knocked from the tree, they can break and cause cuts or choking if your pet swallows them.

  • Ribbons, wrapping paper, and fasteners - it is best to discard these quickly once all the gifts are unwrapped so that curious pets won’t be tempted to chew on them.

  • Electrical cords provide opportunities for both dogs and cats to chew, with the potential for electric shock, so be sure to secure cords, use grounded three-prong plugs, and keep cords out of reach.

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