Manor Lake’s Holiday Safety For Your Australian Labradoodle

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The holidays have officially arrived. To keep the season merry, bright and safe for the entire family — including Donner, Blitzen and all our four-legged friends — here are some timely tips:

Holiday Decorations

• Many holiday plants are poisonous. Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, many forms of lilies…just to name a few. Ask your veterinarian if you have specific questions, but a good rule of thumb is keep pets away from all holiday plants or opt for imitation plants!

• Tree water often contains preservatives which are sugar-based and inviting to pets as well as other toxic chemicals that were used on the tree. Use a tree skirt as well as the barricade to prevent access to this water.

• Many trees have been pulled down in a pet’s attempt to eat the decorations made of popcorn, candy canes and gingerbread. This can damage the tree and decorations, as well as upset your pet’s stomach or cause injury.

• Make sure to keep your pet from eating the needles on the tree since they’re sharp and can irritate the mouth and digestive tract if eaten.

• Secure your tree to the wall or the ceiling. In the event your pet jumps on the tree or tries to pull something off, the tree will remain upright and not fall. Also, pets will often play with ornaments and, because glass breaks easily, cuts to the mouth, esophagus and paw pads could happen. If glass ornaments are a must, then place them high on the tree where your pet can’t reach.

• Some lights can overheat and burn pets. Other curious pets can pull the lights off the tree and become entangled in the wires. Chewing on wires can cause problems like burned mouths and electrocution. Make sure to place ALL wires out of reach.

Holiday Fare

• Avoid chocolate, fruits and nuts. Grapes, raisins and macadamia nuts, as well as chocolate (especially dark and baking chocolate), can cause stomach upset and are sometimes even deadly.

• Uncooked dough. Dough can expand and produce gas in the stomach which can cause bloat, severe pain and possible rupture of the digestive system. If you are leaving dough out to rise, keep your pet out of that room.

Pet Gifts

• Avoid giving your pet small toys or toys with small parts that could be chewed off. Avoid toys with squeakers or rattles inside because some pets will tear these toys apart and eat the center.

• Avoid non-nutritious treats. Read the label for ingredients before giving your pet a new treat. Many treats are poorly nutritious and filled with or coated with carbohydrates, sugars (e.g. corn syrup, molasses, fructose, etc), artificial colorings or flavorings. Choose high quality all natural pet treats to insure optimum health for your pet during this busy season.

December 12th, 2008 by Dr. Donna Spector
Halo Purely For Pets Blog

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