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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Keep Your Pets Healthy This Holiday Season

Today’s Post from the Pro is an interview with Kristi Kantz, DVM, Charlestown Veterinary Clinic, Charlestown, IN.
· Is it okay for Fido and Fifi to have a few holiday leftovers?
As much as we want to share our holiday goodies with our pets, it is not a good idea. Most of our holiday treats are too rich for our furry companions and could result in vomiting, diarrhea, or even pancreatitis, a serious condition that can require hospitalization. If you must share a special holiday treat with your dog, stick to safe bland items such as boiled boneless, skinless chicken breast, rice, or low-fat cottage cheese.

· With the weather being so cold, do we still need to protect our pets against fleas?
In general, fleas are less of a problem in the winter months. Keep in mind, though, that fleas can remain in the egg stage for prolonged periods of time until environmental conditions are favorable for them to hatch, and adult fleas can persist on our pets through the winter months. The best way to prevent flea problems is to use year round flea prevention. A veterinarian can create a flea prevention program suitable for your pet’s lifestyle. Unfortunately, once fleas are established, it can take 3-4 months of consistent treatment of the pet and its environment to completely eradicate the flea infestation. This can be a time-consuming, frustrating, and costly process.

· Are there any traditional Christmas decorations that are harmful to our pets?
Any Christmas decoration has the potential to be harmful to our pets if they are ingested. In particular, poinsettias and chocolate can be toxic to pets. Also, tinsel can be hazardous to cats if ingested and result in a linear foreign body requiring surgery.

· What’s the most important tip for keeping your pet healthy through the holidays?
Keep any potential harmful substances or items out of your pets reach, and stick to your pets’ normal routine and diet.
We wish you a safe and happy holiday for you and your furry companions!


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