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Lake Tahoe Humane Society: What not to give Fido and Fluffy for Christmas

Lake Tahoe Humane Society
Hopeful Henry

As we are fast approaching the biggest giving season of them all, I wanted to remind our wonderful Tahoe pet lovers what to avoid as gifts for your furry family member this year. I would like to thank the folks at Pet Plan Pet Insurance for the following great advice.

Speaking of pet insurance, if you’re looking for a practical gift for your pet owning friends, pet insurance would make a nice gift.

Goodies meant for humans are not good for the pets. The holidays are packed with food, from large holiday dinners to cookies, candies and other treats. I know that you would never purposely give these kinds of treats to your dog, but some dogs (who are aiming to get a lump of coal in their stockings) are just too crafty for their own good. Keep chocolates and other candy (especially those containing the sugar substitute xylitol) well out of reach. While you’re at it, keep a tight rein on table scraps, too. Pancreatitis, secondary to overindulging, is a common problem around the holidays.

Chicken jerky treats are not a good choice. Whether they’re on their own or wrapped around a tasty rawhide bone, just leave them on the shelf. Chicken jerky treats are notorious for causing life-threatening kidney damage. While treats manufactured in China were originally to blame, illnesses have been reported due to consumption of jerky treats made here in the U.S., too. With hundreds of other treat options out there, you can easily find one that’s delicious and safe.

Keep away from inappropriate toys. I don’t want you to refrain from getting your pet toys. Pets love toys. I just want to make sure you’re getting the right toys for your pet. Many vets have seen countless pets on the surgery table simply because of their toys, and I want you to avoid this problem.

The problem occurs when pets swallow their toys. Once in the gastrointestinal tract, these parts and pieces can wreak havoc, causing obstruction that can eventually, without intervention, lead to death. This is especially true for cats that ingest string, ribbons or yarn.

Choose your pet toys wisely — if your lab’s first mission is to decapitate his new stuffed toy to get to the squeaker, don’t even give him the chance. There are plenty of nearly indestructible toys out there for him instead. Choose large toys for large dogs and leave small balls for the little guys.

Make this holiday season a great one for your whole family by thinking thoughtfully about what you get for your pets this year.

Hopeful Henry is a column managed by Niki Congero, executive director of Lake Tahoe Humane Society & S.P.C.A. Need some pet advice? Ask Hopeful Henry. Submit questions or letters via e-mail to AskHenry@LakeTahoeHumaneSociety.org or by mail to P.O. Box PET South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158. Visit Facebook.com/LakeTahoeHumaneSocietySPCA, Facebook.com/Hopeful.Henry or Twitter.com/LtHumaneSociety.


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