With Veterinarian Dr. Gwynn Hardee
The holiday time is here with lots of great times together as family, and one of the most important members of our family is a four-footed cat or dog. Of course, they do not know that they are a critter and please do not tell them. Charlie sure thinks he is a person and we don’t want to break his heart by letting him know. All of us who have pets love them very much, and they are such an asset to our lives. The life enhancing facts of having a cat or dog in our lives are undeniable.
Medical science has shown, for example, just petting and stroking your pet lowers your blood pressure. If you have ever seen a service pet taken into a nursing home, the effects on all those folks is simply amazing.
However, for purposes of good health, we have to be careful how we treat our pet during these holidays. This time of year we see many pets that have an up- set stomach and diarrhea because they got too many treats from the table. I encourage you not to feed your pet left- overs. If you must, make sure it is some lean meat of some kind and in small portions. Never any bones! Also, chocolate is abundant this time of year, but it can be a real health challenge if you give your pet chocolate.
Also, beware of dropped pills that you are taking getting into your pets. Many of our plants that adorn our homes this time of year can also be toxic. Remember sugar free gum containing xylitol can cause an acute low blood sugar that can kill your pet if not discovered quickly. Antifreeze is highly lethal to pets, al- though there are some brands out now that are deemed safe. Why would your pet drink antifreeze? It seems to taste like Kool-Aid to them! So please discard all in a safe way. If your pet is traveling, remember that it can be a high stress event for them, so make sure you check with your vet on how to make that time as smooth as possible. If you have a cat, please do not carry it in a pet carrier by the handle. We all make that swing as we walk, and it is very disturbing to the cat. Place them in the top if you have a door there, and put your hands under the crate and carry it like a crate of eggs. When putting them in the car, place them on the floorboard so sudden stops in traffic do not send them flying. Make sure you are using a vet that has been through the fear free training for all pets.
If you have any specific questions, do not hesitate to call one our staff members or myself at 843-282-2287.
Thanks so much, and to everyone both two legged and four, have a great holiday and be safe.
Gwynn Hardee, DVM