Keeping your pets healthy and happy this holiday season

Edmonton Humane Society: Tula & Bagheera
WATCH ABOVE: In this Adopt a Pet segment with the Edmonton Humane Society, Dr. Ted Purcell introduces us to Tula the dog and Bagheera the black cat, and talked about cold weather pet safety.

While celebrating this holiday season, don’t forget about the comfort and safety of your four-legged friends.

Stranger danger

This can be a stressful time of year for your pets, with lots of people they might not know coming in and out of their home, according to veterinarian Dr. Elaine Degrandpre.

While every pet is different, she said there are some universal signs they’re not happy.

“Urinate in the house would be a good sign for cats that they’re very stressed. In a dog, like I said they might be, dogs that are a little bit more intolerant to new people — they may bite when they usually would never do this.”

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Her advice: if your pet is overwhelmed with the company at home, isolate them in a room with food and water.

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Food scrap safety

With so many treats and food readily available this time of year, it’s important to keep an eye on what you’re giving to your pet.

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It’s well-known not to let your dog have chocolate, but you should also be aware of what scraps you could be putting in their bowl.

“Things that people may not know, onions for example, that can cause a lot of problems with dogs and cats,” she said.

“Causing also problems with fatty foods can be very harmful for older dogs, or middle-age ranged dogs.”

Some signs your pet might have eaten something they shouldn’t include becoming lethargic, throwing up or experiencing diarrhea, and hiding from you when they’re normally social.

Degrandpre advises if you see any of these signs to take your pet to the vet.

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Which treats and toys to avoid

It’s no secret that some people treat their pets like their children, and therefore might be buying them a Christmas present.

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If that’s you, make sure you’re aware of what you’re buying as hollow, rubber toys and tennis balls aren’t good for dogs.

“Certain dogs will chew it and break it into little pieces and swallow it, that could cause a blockage,” Degrandpre said.

“If dogs like to chase balls, it’s always better to get a rubber ball versus a tennis ball because that fuzz in the tennis ball will abrade the teeth.”

Don’t let your pets drink Christmas tree water

Degrandpre also warns pet owners with real Christmas trees to put a cover over the water the tree is in. She said the tree could have lots of fertilizer on it and if a pet drinks that water, it could cause problems.

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