How to Safeguard Your Pets for the Holidays

By Kelly Bryant

Think your pets are safe during the holidays? Think again. Dr. John Mayfield from the Animal Medical Center in Hattiesburg says holiday decorations and sweet treats are enticing to your four legged friends, but ingesting them could land them under the knife or worse.

He says, "If they can get to it, they're going to probably get into it."

"Just be aware, I mean, most people, you know, they think that just because a pack of M&M's is on the counter in a bag, that their dog won't get to it. But that's not the case whatsoever. Dogs will do amazing feats to get to something like that. We've seen them eat glass, I mean, just crazy stuff that they will eat."

As for treating your pet to the same holiday foods you serve? be careful, because changing their diet could also be dangerous.

Mayfield says, "The biggest thing we see over the holidays is gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, where they've eaten something they shouldn't have and it's irritated their GI tract really bad, so they're vomiting, they've got diarrhea...'Could that potentially kill an animal?'..."Pancreatitis can."

Keep your furry friends in mind when decorating, too.

Mayfield explains, "Just be careful with the low hanging ornaments, you know, the hooks...I probably wouldn't do hooks down low. Just use the string that the ornaments attach to. Something like a hook going through the GI tract could be dangerous. It could perforate the intestine."

There is a laundry list of dangerous household items, especially during the holidays, so know the facts, either in a brochure from your vet's office, or on the web. Let's face it, the last thing anyone wants to deal with during the holidays is an emergency visit to the vet.

"Just be wise. That's the best advice. Don't put something that could potentially be dangerous to them down low where they can get to it, because they...don't know any better."

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