Central Veterinary Associates Offers Advice on Keeping Your Pet Safe This Holiday Season

The holiday season can be a very joyous one for your pet, but it is just as important to make sure it is a safe one. Central Veterinary Associates. offers these tips to keep your ...

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VALLEY STREAM, NY - The holiday season can be a very joyous one for your pet, but it is just as important to make sure it is a safe one. Central Veterinary Associates. offers these tips to keep your pets free from danger while enjoying the holiday's festivities:

— Watch your pet around the Christmas tree - Make sure the tree is properly secured in its stand so it will not fall on your pet. The water in the stand can sicken animals because of certain fertilizers or bacteria found in the water. Do not put aspirin in the water (some people place aspirin in the tree water to make it stronger). It can cause serious health problems for your pet, even death.

— Keep ornaments and tinsel out of reach - Ingestion of ornaments and tinsel can lead to serious ailments. Tinsel is a favorite of cats but, when ingested, will result in intestinal blockage. Hang the ornaments and tinsel at a height where the pet cannot reach them.

— Make sure the tree area is kept clean - Shards of glass from a broken ornament can cut an animal's paws, mouths and bodies. If swallowed, it can be deadly. Pine needles from the Christmas tree can puncture an animal's intestinal lining. If you see falling pine needles or broken ornaments, please sweep up and throw into the trash can.

— Put away cleaning supplies after cleaning up - In the rush to get the house ready for the holidays, pet owners might leave cleaning products within their pet's reach. Floor cleaner, furniture polish and window cleaner are considered toxins. Be sure to place cleaning products that are not in use away in an area where animals cannot reach them.

— Watch out for holiday lighting - Pets may chew on the wiring, which will cause shock and electrocution. Keep the wiring out of the reach of pets and unplug all holiday lighting when not in use. Bubbling holiday lights contain fluids that are toxic when ingested.

— Put away children's toys after opening them - Pets may think of children's toys as their own personal chew toys. Small plastic pieces and rubber balls become ingested, causing blockages. These objects would need to be surgically removed.

— Keep holiday plants out of reach - Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias and lilies are very beautiful, but to pets, they are very poisonous and can be very dangerous. Such plants, if ingested, cause serious health problems in pets.

— Avoid feeding human food to your pets - People love to feed their pets under the table for this holiday season, they are unknowingly harming their animals. Chocolate contains theobromine, which, for dogs, can result in diarrhea, seizures and death. Macadamia nuts contain toxins which can affect the digestive, muscular and nervous systems of dogs. Gravy can cause pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas resulting in pain, vomiting and dehydration. Chicken, fish and turkey bones can break off and tear through the animal's intestinal tract.

— Hold onto your drinks - Coffee and tea contain dangerous components called xanthines, which cause the damage to the dog's nervous system or gastrointestinal tract and heart muscle stimulation. Animals are also attracted to the sweet smell of alcohol. Each year, hundreds of dogs die after a single bout of alcohol consumption. Keep such drinks out of reach.

— Give your pets some room - When meeting visitors for the first time, pets can be overexcited. Your pet may jump on the visitor or act aggressively by barking or hissing. Some pets may also urinate on the floor. When hosting a party, set up a separate area for your pets with plenty of food and water.

— Protect your pet from the elements - The weather outside is definitely frightful in the winter, especially for pets. Dressing your dog in a doggie sweater or booties is not only stylish, but protects your pet from the harsh winter weather, especially if you have a short-haired or small-breed dog. Booties prevent your dogs' paws from frostbite. Most importantly, the rock salt should be cleaned off the booties; if ingested, it can result in vomiting.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 1 (888) 4CVA-PET (428-2738) or visit www.centralvets.com.

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About Central Veterinary Associates

Central Veterinary Associates is a 24-hour, full-service hospital that provides optimal small animal medicine, including exotic medicine. The main hospital is located in Valley Stream, which provides 24-hour care at its state-of-the-art facility. Central Veterinary Associates also has other convenient locations in Great Neck, Bayside, Forest Hills, Far Rockaway and Belle Harbor. The hospital features intensive care units and intravenous infusion pumps and offers state-of-the-art radiology, endoscopy, ultrasonography, otoscopy and dentistry services. Central Veterinary Associates has over 100 staff members, including 14 veterinarians, as well as a board-certified radiologist, surgeon and internist available for consultation. For more information, call 1 (888) 4CVA-PET (428-2738) or visit www.centralvets.com.