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Current Article

​Contact: Ann Hatch

For immediate release — Dec. 6, 2018
News brief

(DALLAS) — No bones about it — holiday foods (like turkey) and decorations (like tinsel) — can hurt pets at home during family festivities. Dr. Jean Eye, veterinarian and onsite faculty coordinator for the Cedar Valley College veterinary technology program, says that keeping the holidays fun for pets and their human families means taking a few precautions that can help avoid an emergency trip to the vet’s office.

“Cats are fascinated by Christmas trees and decorations. Dogs are more interested in the foods you cook during the holidays,” says Eye, who has worked primarily in small animal practices. “By taking some simple steps, you can keep your pets safe and happy during the holidays.”

Dr. Eye, who has additional experience in veterinary emergency medicine and mixed animal practices, suggests following these safety tips for pets:

  • A climbing kitty can topple a tree. If possible, when you aren’t home, keep cats out of the room where your Christmas tree sits. If that’s not possible, use a loop of fishing line around the tree trunk so that you can secure it to a screw eye bolt on the wall.
  • Cats also love to play with string, but they can swallow strands of tinsel or yarn, causing a severe or potentially fatal intestinal obstruction. Avoid tinsel, and choose ornaments that don’t break easily.
  • Dogs, who are more interested in the food you are preparing for your holiday feast, can eat a few bites of turkey as a treat. However, don’t let your dog have the bones left at the end of the meal. Bones can easily splinter as your dog chews on them.
  • Holiday bakers must also take care to keep chocolate out of their dog’s reach. All types of chocolate are potentially toxic for dogs, but baking chocolate has a much higher concentration of methylxanthines that cause problems for them.

Finally, Dr. Eye adds, “Be sure to contact a veterinarian promptly if your pet has any health problems. Even if your regular veterinary hospital is closed for the holidays, emergency facilities are open that can provide veterinary care for your pet if the need arises.”

Happy holidays with your pets!

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