Keeping pets safe during the holidays

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 22, 2017

By Spencer Dixon

SALISBURY — The holiday season is full of fun, family and food, but it can present dangers for pets.

Dr. Venessa Longobardi of Salisbury Animal Hospital shared some helpful tips to keep pets safe and healthy throughout the holidays.

Pets should not be given food scraps from the table, especially turkey or ham, she said. Turkey and ham can cause pancreatitis as well as put animals at risk for ingesting foreign objects such as bones, aluminum foil or plastic. These hazards can be fatal to animals, according to Longobardi.

To ensure animals do not get into human food, Longobardi recommends putting pets in another room during meals.

Additionally, trash should be taken out immediately to avoid pets digging through the garbage for scraps.

In addition to food, decorative plants can be hazardous to pets as well. Plants such as poinsettias and lilies are toxic to animals. Christmas tree water can cause other gastrointestinal problems.

“The holidays are the highest time of year for pet gastrointestinal issues,” said Longobardi, so it’s important to recognize the symptoms. Symptoms of GI problems are vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and abnormal behavior such as lying around and looking uncomfortable.

If any of these symptoms appear, it is important to have your pet evaluated within 24 to 48 hours to ensure their safety, Longobardi said.