Protect pets from holiday dangers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Protect pets from holiday dangers

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –The holidays can be a wonderful and exciting time for us, but it can be a dangerous time for our pets.

Your Christmas decorations, even your favorite holiday meal can be tempting to your pet and may hurt them more than you realize.

You may think you are doing your furry friend a favor when you pass him a bite of ham or hand him a leftover chicken bone but veterinarians say you are doing more harm than good. "Table scraps especially with a lot of fat or bones in them that's when you often end up at the veterinarian office," said Dr. Larry Branch.

Dr. Charlie Deriso says the most common problems he sees during the holiday season are pancreatitus and other issues related to what pets eat. "Pancreatitus can be fatal, that's mostly brought on by eating food with too much fat in it," said Branch.

Fatty hams and gravies, chocolates, and grapes are popular during the holiday season, but they may cause an upset stomach or severe intestinal problems in your pet. "The thick fudges and bakers chocolate and concentrated chocolates can be fatal to a dog," said Dr. Charlie Deriso.

It's not just food that poses a threat to your pets, they like to eat other things too."If one of these cords were left where they could be easily chewed on you can have electrocutions," said Branch.

Shiny ornaments and hooks and sparkling lights can be attractive to your pets. "I've done that many times where a dog has ingested part on an ornament and we have to remove that as part of a surgery," said Deriso.

Certain plants can be dangerous too everything from Mistletoe, Poinsettias, Holly, Christmas Cactus, and even lilies can pose a threat to your furry friend. "There is a tar based product within the Poinsettia that can be toxic to a dog," said Deriso.

Dr. Larry Branch says pay special attention to any antifreeze leaking from your vehicle. "If it is sweet to a dog or cat and if they drink it can be fatal in that regard," said Branch.

And don't let pets drink alcohol. "It it may not be fatal but you are going to have a dog or cat who cannot walk a straight line and you would have to call the veterinarians office and your don't want that during the holidays," said Branch.

Branch recommends putting your drink in a spot where your pet isn't tempted to take a lick.

Some tips that can protect your pets-use non shatter ornaments instead of glass, buy plastic plants, tape lights to the ground, covering the wires. And hang ornaments made of food high up in the tree..if you have a cat..don't hang them at all.

Most veterinarians have a 24-hour emergency line... So you might want to keep that number handy in case you run into a problems this holiday season.

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