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10 Things Not To Give Pets This Holiday Season

While you can enjoy chocolate and other sweets, your pets should not, says a Laguna Niguel-based veterinarian. Here is the rest of the things to avoid this season.

It’s tempting, but don’t give Fido or Fluffy any of the holiday treats including chocolate and other sweets.

Dogs and cats aren’t humans and shouldn’t be treated as such.

Here are the top holiday safety tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association, says Laguna Niguel-based veterinarian and Patch blogger, Dr. Larry Wahl.

1. Keep table scraps out of your pet’s diet. “Salty, spicy and greasy” can be deadly for pets. Fatty foods can cause pancreatitis, a life-threatening condition in dogs, and chicken bones can splinter inside an animal’s stomach. Make sure your dog can’t get leftovers from the trash.

2. Chocolate should be out of reach of dogs because it’s poisonous to them. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous — with baker’s chocolate being the most deadly.

3. Avoid sweets. A study reported in a veterinary medical journal in 2006 linked xylitol — a common sweetener in baked goods, candy and chewing gum — with liver failure and death in dogs.

4. Give your pet healthy holiday snacks. Recipes are available on the Internet, or you can visit a pet store/bakery. Ask your veterinarian or veterinary technician about healthy treats.

5. Anchor your holiday tree. It’s a temptation for pets, and if it 
topples, it can cause severe injuries. Keep pets away from the tree water, as tree preservatives and sap can cause gastrointestinal problems.

6. Never leave a pet alone with a lit candle or exposed flame, and be wary of exposed extension cords.

7. don’t let pets dine on holiday plants. Poinsettia, holly, cedar, balsam, pine and mistletoe are poisonous.

8. Be careful about ornaments. Cats sometimes consume tinsel and other small decorations that can block the intestines.

9. Don’t go off to a holiday party and leave your pet with access to table scraps or anything that might be dangerous. If your dog becomes sick while you’re away, it could be a tragic holiday.

10. Finally, don’t give a pet as a holiday gift. Giving up an inappropriate new pet in January can be heartbreaking.

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