Keeping Your Pets Healthy During the Holidays

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This post is sponsored by Royal Canin. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Royal Canin’s veterinary-exclusive gastrointestinal diet, but all opinions are my own. Royal Canin is not responsible for the content of this article.

With Halloween (and 1/2 of November!!!) behind us, the holiday season will be in full swing.  While we are so focused on our family and friends during the holidays... Royal Canin™ is also encouraging us to keep the health and safety of our pets in mind too.  

According to a recent Veterinary Pet Insurance Company’s report, upset stomach and diarrhea rank among the top 10 reasons owners go to the vet with their pets.

I don't know about you... but now is the time that I start running around and stressing over all the family fun of the holidays. We start having special treats around the house... I start getting out all of our Christmas decorations... we plan for family and friends to come for gatherings, as well as those unexpected drop in visitors that are so fun this time of year.  Those things excite me... but also stress me out like crazy!

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Guess what?  The holidays can stress your pets out too!   An irregular routine can cause pets a lot of stress. Pet owners should be wary of stress symptoms in pets, such as poor appetite or vomiting.  You might have a lot more people in the house, overnight guests that take over rooms that might usually be the place your pets hang out, extra kids, extra noise, different schedules.  I know it's the time Emmett and Bailey seem to spend a lot more time under chairs and tables, or in my bedroom.  Or maybe you travel, and your pet has a drop in pet sitter or boards at a kennel.  With all of this happening... it's important for pet owners to really educate themselves on how to avoid possible hazards and keep their pets safe and healthy throughout the season.

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One specific thing that can cause trouble... and can add a visit to the vet (right when you'd like to be celebrating!)...holiday foods that are particularly harmful to our furry friends.  Keep these, and other dangerous foods out of reach (and be aware of those pets that you know might sneak a peak onto your table and counters when you're not looking!).

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Something  else we've had some issues with around Christmas with our kitties?  Decorations.  Think about items you have that might be extremely interesting to pets... but can also be dangerous and even life threatening.  We had a less than fun and sparkly experience with tinsel.  It seems that Bailey thinks tinsel (and package curling ribbon) are an especially tasty treat.  While we were lucky and it didn't cause her any lasting problems... chasing her around the house when her litter box drop off trailed behind her, strung on sparkly tinsel ribbon... was less than fun.  (I know you just giggled. We did too. But we've become pretty serious about keeping track of what ribbon and tinsel type items we bring in the house.)  We've also stopped accepting the Holiday Red Amaryllis that we used to receive as a gift every Christmas. After Emmett started regularly licking the plant... I did a quick search.  They pretty plants actually contain a substance that is toxic to cats (and dogs) if ingested. We were lucky he was just licking it and we caught on before he took a couple of bites! The same is true of poinsettias and other holiday plants.

If you've got pets that you love, and want to stay happy and healthy, make sure you're looking out for them during this fun and amazing but sometimes stressful time of year.  While your pet’s symptoms may seem relatively straightforward, they could actually be signs of an infection, chronic illness or a more serious condition. If your pet experiences any symptoms, you should contact your veterinarian immediately to determine the best course of action. 

So keep those kitties and pups happy and healthy this holiday season! If you need any further information.. don't forget to check out My Pet Reference! And think about seeing what your furry friend thinks about Royal Canin... if your pet experiences digestive issues on a regular basis talk to your veterinarian about Royal Canin’s line of gastrointestinal solutions.  Royal Canin’s line of veterinary-exclusive GASTROINTESTINAL™ formulas provide multiple options for individualized nutritional solutions for cats and dogs experiencing gastrointestinal issues – a simple solution!