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Durham Veterinarians Warn About Holiday Pet Hazards

DURHAM, N.C., Dec. 23, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dr. Soren Windram and his fellow Durham veterinarians at New Hope Animal Hospital are issuing several tips for pet owners to keep pets safe during the holidays. Dr. Windram says the holidays bring several hazards to pets, but that planning ahead for pet safety can prevent emergency trips to the animal hospital. The veterinarians list trees, decorations, holiday foods and schedule irregularities as big holiday pet hazards to watch out for. Dr. Windram also urges people not to give pets as holiday gifts without considerable planning and forethought, as this can end badly for the animals.

"Unfortunately, we usually see an uptick of emergency visits during the holidays," says Dr. Windram. "Pets get into the chocolate or the bread dough and get sick, or they chew on strings of lights or knock over the tree. You can still have all those things, but it's important to keep them away from your pets."

According to Dr. Windram, human food is one of the biggest holiday pet hazards because there is so much of it that is not safe for pets. He urges pet owners to keep their pets on their regular pet food diet schedule over the holidays to avoid excess weight gain or poisonings. He says to keep chocolate, raisins, grapes, poultry bones, unbaked bread dough, alcohol, coffee, sweets containing Xylitol, onions, macadamia nuts and avocados particularly out of reach.

Dr. Windram also warns pet owners to prevent pets from accessing holiday decorations, candles, strings of lights, wrapping paper, tinsel and any other small objects like toys. He says pets can choke on or get dangerous intestinal blockages from swallowing these things. He adds that lights and candles can cause shock, burn and fire hazards. The veterinarians suggest using baby gates to keep pets out of the same rooms as holiday decorations.

There have also been cases of pets getting lost over the holidays because of the stress and open doors during parties and travel, says Dr. Windram. He recommends keeping pets crated or locked in a safe, quiet room during noisy holiday parties, or to bring pets in for boarding if the family will be traveling.

The Durham veterinarians stress the dangers of giving pets as gifts over the holidays. "We applaud families thoughtfully adopting pets all year round," says Dr. Windram, "but it is so important to prepare and not just spring an unexpected pet on someone. Everyone in the family needs to be ready for the responsibility for caring for the pet. They are living creatures that need a lifetime of water, food, shelter, veterinary care and love."

New Hope Animal Hospital in Durham provides all pet wellness services including vaccinations, pet dentistry and grooming as well as pet emergency care during office hours. To learn more, visit their website at http://www.nhah.com.

CONTACT: New Hope Animal Hospital, 1-888-667-5235Source:New Hope Animal Hospital