(Files by Dione Wearmouth – My Prince George Now)
A Prince George veterinarian is reminding pet owners to keep their animals safe this Thanksgiving and Halloween season by keeping certain snacks out of their diet.
Ben Bauman, DVM, runs Birchwood Veterinary Clinic downtown, he says chocolate and other foods containing Xylitol can be extremely harmful to animals.
“First and foremost, for Halloween it’s chocolate. Pets don’t tolerate chocolate well, milk chocolate is safer than dark chocolate but it’s best to stay away from all chocolate with pets. Also sugar-free type candies like gum and things that contain Xylitol,” he explained.
Bauman says on Thanksgiving, pet parents need to be cautious when feeding their animals leftovers.
“You’ve got to be careful once the turkey’s been eaten to make sure those bones are put away in a safe place where the pets can’t get access to them,” he explained,” and pumpkin spice and other spices that go into baking are not good so I wouldn’t be feeding my dog sweet baking type materials.”
Cooked turkey bones can splinter and get lodged in an animal’s gastrointestinal system.
However, Bauman says turkey without bones and some vegetables such as carrots can be given to pets in moderation, as overeating can cause health issues as well.
“One is weight gain, a lot of pets these days are overweight so we want to try and reduce their body condition but another big one is if they get into fatty-type food materials they can cause a state of Pancreatitis so inflammation of their Pancreas which can make them sick,” he added.
Vomiting and Diarrhea are common signs of poisoning in pets and because chocolate can act as a stimulant, they might also shake and have convulsive type behavior.
Eating habits aren’t the only thing pet owners need to be cautious of this holiday season, as Bauman says steps need to be taken during activities such as trick-or-treating to keep pets from becoming stressed.
“Make sure the pets are kept inside on Halloween, there’s lots of stuff going on outside. Fireworks are a big one, if your pets are induced into a state of fear by those then making sure they’re in a safe, comfortable environment where they can get through the experience of fireworks going on is important,” he stated.
According to Bauman, pets can also be spooked by costumes so keeping them away from the door on Halloween is recommended as well.
Additionally, residents that dress their pets up in costumes need to ensure that there are no loose materials hanging off that could be consumed.
“Just be safe, keep your pet in a safe environment especially if it’s a stressed pet where it’s nervous on these types of holidays, just make sure to keep them secure and not let them outside.”