HOW TO HAVE A SAFE AND FUN HOLIDAY SEASON WITH YOUR FURRY FRIENDS
VETERINARIAN SHARES SIMPLE HOLIDAY SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUR PETS
Dr. Emily Stefan, DVM, Staff Veterinarian, VCA Animal Hospitals
The holidays are a wonderful time for friends and family to get together in our homes and celebrate, however it can be is easy to overlook potential hazards to your pet's health and safety. To prevent mishaps for your cuddly companions, it is important to ‘pet proof’ your home and keep an eye out for potential hidden dangers.
On November 16, Veterinarian at VCA Animal Hospitals Dr. Emily Stefan will be available to share holiday safety tips for your pets. She can share details on what foods can be toxic to pets, the dangers of keeping your wrapping and ribbons out unattended and how to keep a nervous pet calm and comfortable around a house full of guests.
DR. STEFAN’S HOLIDAY SAFETY TIPS INCLUDE:
· Keep Your Pets’ Tummy Happy: Unfortunately, vomiting and diarrhea are common medical problems that veterinarians see during the holidays time, especially between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. Be sure to give your pet nutritious treats designed for their stomachs -or if you wish to feed your dog a special treat, give only a small amount of table food on top of, or mixed in with his regular dinner and keep the holiday candy away.
· Be Mindful of Holiday Decorations: While candles can create a cozy holiday atmosphere in your home, they should never be left unattended. Pets can easily knock candles over with a wag of their tail or burn themselves. Consider using battery-powered candles instead.
· Make Sure Your Tree is Set Up Securely: Be sure to keep ornaments above tail height if you want them to stay on the tree! Tree water can contain harmful fertilizers and/or be a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause stomach upset should your dog decide to sample this new water bowl. Be sure to block off access to the tree’s watering dish.
· Is Your Pet a ‘Nervous Nelly’? Try to provide a quiet space away from company where they can feel safe but still have access to fresh water and cozy blankets. Make sure to take time to play with your pet and give extra cuddles and stress-relieving walks during the holidays. There are a number of mild calming remedies that can be used during the holidays to minimize your pet’s anxiety. Ask your veterinarian for more information and if these would be suitable for your pet.
MORE ABOUT DR. EMILY STEFAN:
Dr. Stefan has been practicing veterinary medicine since 2010. She graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine after completing her clinical year at NC State University in Raleigh. After graduating, she spent a year in Seattle completing an internship in an exotic pet practice where she learned all about treating and caring for non-traditional pets including birds and reptiles. Dr. Stefan joined the VCA Centre Park family in January 2019. Dr. Stefan is originally from Ohio, but moved to Baltimore in 2011 and fell in love with Maryland. She now lives in Columbia with her husband, step son, two cats, and a dog.