Keeping your pets safe this holiday season

MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — The holidays are right around the corner, and whether you’re sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner or decking the halls for Christmas, it’s important to think of the safety of your pets.

While it may be tempting to let your four–legged loved ones indulge in some of the family feast, what’s good for you may not be good for your dog or cat.

“We recommend that our pets don’t really indulge in all of the food that we do during this time,” said Julie Vezzetti, a Veterinarian at the Animal Medical Center of Marquette, “so as far as leftovers and any additional food that’s on the table, we don’t recommend giving any human food to any animal, and the reason is because if they’re not used to something like that, they can get severe gastrointestinal infections and upset, and unlike you and me, who may just lay around on the couch the next day for Thanksgiving with a stomach ache from eating too much food, our animals can get some serious diseases, which may end up with hospitalization.”

You should give your veterinarian a call right away if you find your animal has eaten holiday food. Do the same if your pet becomes ill and you’re not sure what they may have eaten.

In addition to holiday food, holiday decorations can also pose a hazard to pets.

“One of the things that we recommend is keeping ornaments higher on the trees so they’re out of reach of the dogs and the cats in your house,” Vezzetti added. “If you have lights on your tree, which you probably do, to place them a little bit higher. Maybe just the bottom portion of your tree isn’t as well decorated as the top, but your animals will be safe.”

Animals should also not be allowed to chew on a Christmas tree itself, as pine needles can cause holes in a pet’s stomach. Poinsettia plants are toxic, so keep your pets away from them as well.