Keep your pets safe this holiday

The holiday season is upon us, and it’s important to keep our pet’s safety in mind during the festivities.

BluePearl veteraniarians are urging pet owners to give their dogs and cats foods that are safe for them.

“If you want to include your cats and dogs in the holiday fun, give them pet treats,” said Dr. Shaunita Sharpe of BluePearl Veterinary Partners, who is board-certified in emergency and critical care. “They love them, and you won’t have to make a holiday trip to the ER.”

Common holiday foods like turkey, fatty meats, bones, onions, grape products, yeast dough, raw eggs or batter, chocolate and sugar-free confections with the artificial sweetener xylitol should be kept away and out of reach from pets. These foods can cause a range of harmful conditions in pets, including choking, irritation or blocking of digestive tracts, pancreatitis, salmonella, bloating, painful gas, vomiting and even death.

Be careful of ribbons or any other especially long, skinny doo-dads that are likely to fascinate your cat and wind up in her belly. Avoid tinsel if you have cats.

Having visitors for holiday celebrations can be exciting, however it may upset shy or less sociable pets. Keeping pets in a safe, confined area with their favorite toy during large holiday gatherings can greatly reduce their emotional stress and prevent escape through frequently opening exterior doors. Also, as the doors to your house swing open with each new guest or family member, make sure your pets don’t take the opportunity to slip out and run into traffic.