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Holiday Safety for Your Furry Friends

Vet says keep an eye on what dogs and cats eat during festive season

FRIDAY, Dec. 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be easy to overlook the potential dangers facing Fluffy and Fido, an animal expert warns.

A stocking full of treats may seem like the ideal gift for a dog, but can cause serious trouble if your dog gobbles all the snacks at once, said Dr. Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Don't give your pets table scraps that are high in fat, such as skin from roasted turkey or chicken, or fat trimmed from meat. They can upset your pet's digestive tract or even cause painful and potentially deadly pancreas problems, Stamper said.

Be sure to dispose of leftovers and bones where pets can't get them. Bones can get stuck in a dog's throat and sharp pieces of bones can injure the mouth, throat and stomach, she said.

Chocolate and alcohol are other common holiday treats for people that can harm pets, along with plants such as poinsettias, holly and mistletoe.

Pet owners also need to be careful with tinsel, string and ribbons.

"Your cat may find these decorations irresistible because they look like easy-to-catch, sparkly and wiggly prey," but they can cause serious stomach and intestinal damage, Stamper said.

More information

The ASPCA offers more about holiday safety for pets.

SOURCE: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, news release, Dec. 17, 2015

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