Holiday hazards every pet owner should avoid

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The end of the year is often celebrated with family and friends around a plethora of food and while you may be tempted to include your four-legged family members in the celebrations, experts say there are many dangers lurking in the food and decorations that can be disastrous for pets.

Veterinarians at BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital say they have seen a 69 percent increase in chocolate-related emergency vet visits on Christmas Eve at their locations around the country.

To avoid a situation that might send you to the vet, here are a few tips to keep your family pets safe this holiday season:

  • Keep the food away: Be mindful of table scraps like turkey, turkey skin, gravy, and meat fat because even in small doses, they can cause a life-threatening situation.  Also, keep your pets away from any sweets. Here is a list of several food items that are detrimental to dogs.
  • Be careful with decorations: If an ornament, tinsel, or other holiday decoration is consumed, it can cause intestinal blockages that may require surgery. Electric lights and candles can also cause fires or pet burns.
  • Designate a comfortable, quiet place for pets to retreat: Pets can become distressed with a lot of commotion, so designate a private room or crate somewhere quiet for them. Also, pay close attention to the front door and make sure they don’t slip out with loved ones.
  • If traveling, pack for the pet: Remember to bring pet food, fresh water, medications, copies of their medical records, their ID tag, vet information, crate, bed/blanket, and toys. If driving in a car, place them away from airbags and never transport your pet on the outside of the vehicle.
  • Plan ahead: Make sure guests know the ‘dos’ and don’ts’ of the house when it comes to Thanksgiving. Also, know emergency veterinary hospitals nearby and keep a list of emergency phone numbers on hand.

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