Welcome!

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Dr. Jay Gottlieb, Dr. Gil Caren, and the staff of Island Trees Veterinary Hospital  are pleased to announce their hospital blog. This fun and fact-filled blog is updated regularly and includes up-to-date information about your pet’s health care. Also included in the blog are fun, pet-related news stories that we want to share with you and photos and information about our hospital and staff members.

We invite you to check our blog often.

Thank you for visiting.

– The Island Trees Veterinary Hospital Team


3 Top Qualities of an East Meadow Veterinary Hospital

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

Trying to find a new veterinarian but don’t know where to start? Once you conduct an online search or gather word-of-mouth referrals, it’s important to do your research before making a choice.

This is because you want a veterinary hospital that’s able to suit your schedule and lifestyle throughout the lifetime of your pet. From attending appointments easily to getting experienced care, quality veterinarians will grant you peace of mind. 

With this in mind, read on to learn the top three qualities you need in any reputable East Meadow veterinary hospital! 

  1. Full-Service Veterinary Care

When it comes to finding a new veterinarian, it’s recommended to go with a veterinarian that offers every service your pet needs throughout their life. This includes but isn’t limited to: 

The reason for this is that over time, you and your pet will become comfortable in one location. If you need dentistry or pet surgery, it’s far less convenient to find a new location to travel to.

Even worse, the veterinarians there won’t be completely familiar with your pet’s health profile, personality, and history. 

  1. Saturday Availability

Scheduling appointments and making sure you can wrangle your pet and meet them can be one of the most stressful points of your day. For this reason, make sure that the East Meadow veterinary hospital that you choose has early morning hours as well as Saturday availability.

If your pet has a health crisis over the weekend, this also means that your veterinarian will be available to take care of them. 

  1. Highly Trained Staff

Next, you want to make sure that both the staff and veterinarians are experienced as well as communicative. Years of experience means that veterinarians are able to spot subtle signs of disease that less experienced veterinarians may not find as quickly.

This also means they’ll be able to explain in layman’s terms what your pet is experiencing, and the next steps you can take. Staff that are equally as trained and professional will be able to make trips to the vet easier through friendly demeanors and the ability to answer any of your questions.   

Discovering a High-Quality East Meadow Veterinary Hospital

By taking the time to do your research on the local veterinary hospitals, you’ll be setting both yourself and your pets up for success.

Not only will the location and Saturday availability be convenient, but you’ll also be treated with friendliness and respect no matter the circumstance. 
Ready to skip the research and schedule an appointment with a full-service veterinary center? Fill out our contact form today!

Wellness Exams at a Plainview Veterinary Hospital: What to Expect

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

If you’re a new pet owner, your first wellness exam for your furry or feathered friend may feel overwhelming. 

Wellness exams serve an important purpose–they help veterinarians assess the overall wellbeing of your pet. This means that they can spot subtle signs of illness or injury before they become serious problems.  

We’re here to help expel the mysteries of a basic wellness exam. Keep reading to prepare yourself before you come in! 

Checking the Heart and Respiratory System

A stethoscope is used in order to listen to your pet’s heart. Your veterinarian is trying to detect any murmurs or irregular beats. They’ll do the same for the lungs in order to rule out any respiratory diseases.

Checking the Teeth

Did you know that dogs and cats need their teeth brushed as well? Veterinarians check the mouth and teeth in order to assess the health of their teeth. This can help your pets avoid future dental disease. 

Checking Ears and Eyes

Next, your veterinarian will check your pet’s eyes for any signs of glaucoma as well as cloudy eyes, redness, and discharge. They’ll also look inside your pet’s ears and may take swabs to look for any infections, wax build-up, mites, and more. 

Checking Coat and Abdomen

They’ll take a look at your pet’s coat in order to see if there’s any abnormal hair loss or dandruff. At the same time, they’ll palpate your pet’s abdomen in order to assess if there’s any discomfort or signs of lumps and bumps. 

Lab Testing

Lastly, expect that your veterinarian will need a stool or urine sample in order to ensure that your pet isn’t suffering from any illnesses such as diabetes. If your pet is older, there may be more detailed testing necessary depending on their health. 

Schedule an Exam at the Best Plainview Veterinary Hospital

Now that you know the importance of wellness exams as well as what to expect once you come in, we hope we’ve motivated you to schedule an appointment. Not only does this benefit your pet in the long run, but you’ll find that it’s far easier than you expect.

Experienced veterinarians are used to anxious pets, and they do their best to soothe them and show them that they’re friends. When it’s over, you can reward your pet with a treat!
Ready to schedule your first exam with a full-service veterinary hospital that cares? Contact us today to get started! 

Why Won’t My Cat Stop Meowing?

Thursday, October 21st, 2021

There are many reasons behind excessive meowing in cats, from the kind of breed your cat is to medical issues. How can you tell what your cats trying to say to you?

Seeking Attention

Cats that often cry on a regular basis usually are seeking attention or are bored out of their minds. This behavior has to be stable, though, to come to this conclusion, if they start meowing out of nowhere, then this is cause for concern. If your cat is talkative, try to increase playtime or provide exciting toys to entertain them.

Anxiety

A vocal cat can sometimes be an anxious cat. Feline anxiety can be a big problem that can lead o behavioral chewing, excessive vocalization, vomiting, litter box difficulty, and more. Anxiety can only be diagnosed by a vet so if you believe your pet is anxious, bring them in to see us as soon as possible.

Health Concerns

Cats who weren’t vocal before and suddenly are should get you in the car to come and see us immediately. This kind of vocalization often tells you something is very wrong with your cat’s health, and they need to be seen immediately. Any sudden increase of crying or meowing is an immediate sign that they could be in immediate physical danger.

Cats are straightforward pets; they want attention, food, water, some fun, and sleep. When a cat starts meowing obsessively when they haven’t done so before, you should expect something is seriously wrong. If your cat has begun meowing seemingly out of the blue, call us today to set up an appointment for them!

How do you socialize kittens?

Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Kittens, especially young kittens, need to be socialized at a young age to interact with people and other animals efficiently, but this isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Here’s how you can socialize your kittens. 

Making Kittens Comfortable

Kittens can be easily frightened by new environments with new situations at hand. For example, if you bring your new kitten home, and you have a dog where their original home did not, you’ll need to help them before comfortable with a dog. This is best done slowly. Let the kitten watch the dog from afar at first and approach at their own pace. Be sure your dog is cat-friendly before you do this!

Using Food

When it comes to socializing kittens with your family, nothing gains a cat’s trust faster than food. Food is delicious, and kittens know it, they’re going to want snacks, treats, and delicious dinners, and if they have to interact with you to get them, they will. This familiarizes them with you and your family members and makes them far more social for the rest of their lives.

Using Play

Play is essential for kitten development, and they’re going to play if you like it or not, so focusing their play on appropriate toys is incredibly important. This keeps them from tearing up your furniture and home. Play with your kitten at least once a day, and make sure they have enough toys to help entertain them when you’re busy.

Are you getting a new kitten in your home? Make sure you bring them in to our Levittown vet office for a check-up before you bring them home to ensure they’re happy and healthy! We pride ourselves on treating our patients like family, so call us to set up an appointment today!

Tips For Running With Your Dog

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

Running Tips from our Veterinarian Near Farmingdale, NY

If you’re looking for a fun way to stay active, try running with your furry friend! Going on runs with your dog is an excellent way to stay healthy and to bond with your pet. It’s also great for your pet’s physical and mental health! Dogs have a lot of energy that they need to release daily. Different breeds of dogs have different energy expenditures, so try to find an exercise that would work well for your pup.

Start Slow

If your dog isn’t used to regular high-energy exercise, you may need to start off slow. Bring your dog in for a check-up with our veterinarian near Farmingdale, NY to get a full physical workup before participating in any strenuous exercise. Running may not be the best choice for dogs with short legs because they will have to work a lot harder than a dog with long legs. However, large dogs are more prone to hip dysplasia and arthritis due to abnormal function of the hip socket. Talk to our team about your pet’s health and activity level so that we can recommend the right type of exercises for their lifestyle.

Take the Necessary Precautions

Our veterinarian near Farmingdale, NY does not recommend running with your dog when they are still very young. This could lead to developmental problems such as joint and bone damage. Daily exercise is great for a growing puppy, but strenuous exercise would not be ideal. Instead, provide lots of chew toys to keep your puppy entertained and active throughout the day. When they are a bit bigger, start to slowly introduce running into your daily routine. Your puppy should have all their necessary vaccines completed before they go adventuring through trails or visiting any dog parks. They will also need flea & tick prevention treatments before wandering into the outdoors. Parasites can be really damaging to your dog’s health, so be sure to take all the necessary precautions to protect your puppy. Talk to our team about what vaccinations and prevention treatments would be appropriate for your pet.

Master Behavior First

Basic commands are an easy way to master communication with your puppy. These commands can help keep your pet safe in a new environment, so be sure to master them before adventuring to new places with your furry friend. You don’t want your puppy to pull on the leash, run off, or play rough with other dogs, so you’ll need to develop the right relationship before exploring. Our team can help guide you with some helpful commands such as “sit,” “stay,” or “leave it”. You could also enroll your puppy in obedience classes to help make the process a bit easier. Exercising is so much easier when your dog understands how they are supposed to behave. Talk to our veterinarian near Farmingdale, NY to learn more information about behavioral tips and obedience classes.

Stay Hydrated

Make sure you bring water for both you and your puppy. You may even want to bring a small dish for them to drink out of. You can easily get a dish that can fold up to fit in a pocket or backpack. If you’re running in hot weather, you should stop for water about every 10 minutes. Dogs overheat more easily than humans because of their fur coats. They don’t sweat like we do, but they do pant quite often when they are overheated. You should also be aware of what surface you are running on. Blacktop and sand can be too hot for your dog’s paws, so you may want to get them some running shoes. You should always check your dog’s paws for injuries after running just as a precaution. Your dog won’t be able to tell you if they have a splinter or rock stuck in their paw, so you’ll need to be proactive about their care. Stay vigilant of environmental factors that may be dangerous for your dog. Don’t let your dog drink from streams or lakes, which may contain harmful algae that could cause serious health problems for your puppy.

Keeping Your Cat’s Coat Healthy

Friday, March 27th, 2020

East Meadow Vets Provide Helpful Tips to Care for Your Cat’s Coat

Your cat’s coat is not only soft and beautiful, but it provides many different functions such as protection from weather conditions such as heat, cold, wind, and rain. If you notice that your cat’s coat is dull or its skin is dry, it may be a sign of poor nutrition, weight, age, allergies, diseases, or bathing them too frequently. Dive deeper with our East Meadow vets to learn more.

A good healthy diet will not only show in your cat’s coat but in their overall health. A balanced diet consists of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. If your cat is lacking one or more of these nutrients, they may experience issues with digestion and lack vital minerals and vitamins the body needs.

According to Web MD, nearly 60% of cats in the United States are overweight. Being overweight or obese prevents cats from being able to reach the entirety of their body to self-clean. A non-shiny coat may also be the result of age. The older your cat gets, the more they are susceptible to being less flexible or even arthritic. Washing your cat too often can also cause your furry friend to have a dull coat. If you’re concerned about this, there are steps you can take to revive your kitty’s coat.

Your cat should be eating meals with protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Cats need more protein than dogs. It’s important to invest in a premium brand of cat food for the best results. Try adding fatty acids found in salmon or fish oils into your cat’s food, to treat their fur from the inside out. Our East Meadow vets suggest what type of meals are best for your pet and if supplementing omega-3s, for example, is essential for your cat.

If your cat is overweight or obese, you may notice dandruff down their back or along their tail. Being overweight leads to more serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or cancer. Visit Island Trees Veterinary Hospital for a proper evaluation of your cat. After we assess them, we’ll help you create a plan on how to improve their health which may include weight loss and diet tips. 

As previously stated, age can play a factor as to why your cat’s coat is dull. Oftentimes, they’re unable to clean their coat thoroughly by themselves as they get older. If you notice this, assist your cat with cleaning their coat by brushing it using a fine-toothed comb. A fine-toothed comb captures any dull or dead hairs a brush may be unable to reach.

If your cat has dry skin or a dull coat, reduce how often you bathe your cat. Bathing them too much causes dry skin. Try bathing them only when their coat is extremely dirty. If your kitty has fleas, try a monthly treatment rather than constantly bathing them to rid of the pesky problem. And remember, stick to using flea products only made for cats. Read the label and directions properly to make sure you’re using the medication effectively. Don’t hesitate to ask our team regarding the most efficient ways to get rid of fleas.

Call our East Meadow veterinary hospital at (516) 735-0090 to schedule your cat’s consultation today!

When to take your pet to the vet

Saturday, February 15th, 2020

Our pet is always treated to be a part of our family. Whether it is a dog, a cat, a bird, or any species, it is considered as our best friend. In fact, our pets help us relieve our stress through the joy that they bring in every action that they do. However, how do we identify some alarming actions that mean a need for medical attention?

In this article, we’re going to talk about the signs that should let you know it’s about time to bring your pet to a vet. If you observe these in your pet, then you should consult your veterinarian. If you do not have one, you may contact a Plainview veterinarian as soon as possible.

1. Strange Eating Pattern

When your pet skips one or two meals on a hot sunny day, it is normal because he has not used up all of his energy and decided to stay indoors. However, if your pet abnormally skips more than two meals, it is something alarming. Skipping meals for two days or more is a noticeable sign that your pet needs to be medically attended for.

2. Becoming Thirsty Excessively

As an owner, you should monitor the amount of water that your pet drinks every day. Suddenly drinking water in an excessive amount could mean that your pet is experiencing diabetes or kidney disease. You will be able to observe if your pet is excessively drinking water if you notice that you refill his water container more than the normal times that you do. Another sign that you can observe is the abnormal volume of urine.

3. Dull and Unhealthy Coat

Your pet’s coat should appear shiny, soft, and thick. If the coat is dry, rough, and dull, it could mean that there is something alarming that is happening to your pet. Another indication is if you could notice bald spots on your pet’s fur. These signs could be caused by skin disease, allergic reaction, or the wrong type of food consumed by your pet. If these continue to show, you might as well as consult a reliable Plainview veterinarian to help you out with your pet.

4. Your Pet Always Seems Tired

Being sluggish, also known as lethargy, is an observable sign that something is wrong with your pet’s physical health. A sluggish pet may be apathetic in physical activities like walking in the park, playing indoors or outdoors, or being engaged in physical activities they usually love doing.

Aching muscles or common fatigue might be causing this due to high temperature levels. However, you should consult a veterinarian if this sign continues to show for two days or more.

5. Nausea

Sometimes, a pet that vomits does not mean that his life is in danger. Most pets do it sometimes to remove food or something mixed in it that does not agree with their stomach. However, there are other kinds of vomiting that you could observe which can be something that you should not ignore. You should contact a veterinarian quickly if your pet shows these signs:

  • Frequent vomiting or a few times consecutively
  • Blood is observed in the vomited substance
  • Fever is present
  • Acute vomiting could lead to diarrhea or dehydration

6. Abnormal Stool

Your pet’s feces are a good sign that shows the quality of his health. A healthy pet’s bodily waste should be firm, moist, and small. On the other hand, hard and dry feces could be a clear indication of dehydration, dietary issues, or maladies. You should consult a veterinarian if your pet shows these signs:

  • Worms or parasites are observable in the feces
  • Experiencing diarrhea for 24 hours or more
  • Struggling
  • Mucus or blood is observable in the feces

7. Unexpected Loss of Weight

A pet, even an obese one, who suddenly loses weight should be an alarming sign that requires you to consult a veterinarian. Having your pet’s weight radically dropping in a sudden manner could mean a grave health disorder. If the weight of your pet drops by ten percent or more, you should seek medical attention. In smaller breeds, this can be as small as losing one pound of weight.

8. Red or Cloudy Eyes

If your pet shows reddening or cloudy eyes, it could mean that he has an injury or infection. Other signs can be in the form of excessive eye discharge or squinting. You should ensure that your pet is medically attended for when any of these signs show. Ailments that affect your pet’s eyes can develop quickly which can lead to blindness. Treatment can be performed to heal the infected area.

9. Dragging or Scratching Rear

If your pet is unusually dragging or scratching his rear on the ground, it may indicate the presence of parasites or perhaps infected or blocked anal glands. It may also be caused by diarrhea or a urinary tract infection. This is something you should not also ignore, and if this sign shows up, you should contact your veterinarian for medical attention.

10. Other Emergency Signs

There are also other signs that you should worry about. If these other emergency signs can be observed from your pet, you should take your pet to a veterinarian:

  • Possible fractured bones or open wounds
  • Irregular breathing
  • Passing out or collapsing suddenly
  • Vomiting excessively or repeatedly
  • Blood in the vomited substance
  • Convulsion or seizure
  • Bleeding from the pet’s nose, eyes, or mouth
  • Possible food poisoning
  • Noticeable excruciating pain from shaking or whining
  • Inflated and hard abdomen

Due to your pet’s survival instinct, it will do its best to look healthy physically. It is totally important to be aware of your pet’s health and monitor him even with the slightest change in his actions. You totally know your pet better than anyone could tell, so if there is something wrong with your pet, you should seek a reliable veterinarian for assistance or medical checkup.

While you can find a lot of pets that you can buy in pet shops or adopt in some adoption centers, there is no greater pet than the one that you already have with you.

Road Trip Tips for Your Pet

Monday, July 8th, 2019

Whether you’re driving two hours or going cross-country, adventuring with your pet can be an awesome bonding experience for both of you. There are some steps you can take to ensure the process goes as seamlessly as possible. Your pet hospital of Levittown, Island Trees Veterinary Hospital, has some tips on how to stay safe while traveling with your pet this summer. Read below to find out more information on travel safety for your furry friend.

 

Don’t let your dog or cat roam around in the car. Always be sure that they are in a crate to minimize the risk of injury while traveling. Secure the crate in place using either a seatbelt or other anchor. Don’t rely on a seatbelt to secure your pet alone since they do not provide accurate protection in case of a crash. Allowing your pet to roam in the car is not only a safety risk for your pet, but it could also lead to distracted driving and put every occupant of the car at risk.

 

Don’t allow your pet to stick their head out the window. As tempting as it is to allow your pet the freedom of their tongue wagging in the wind, it can actually raise health risks. Debris and particles in the air can hurt your pet and actually cause disease or infection. The cold air can also cause them respiratory issues. Never transport your pet in the bed of a truck because it can be incredibly dangerous for pets. Whether they are in a carrier or not, riding in the bed can be risky and is considered illegal in some states.

 

Take frequent rest stops not only for yourself but for your pet. Sitting in a car for too long will make them stir-crazy and may lead to behavioral issues. Always bring a leash with you so that you can explore together at rest stops. Carry ID with you at all times in case of emergency, and your pet hospital of Levittown recommends microchipping your pet in case you accidentally lose them. If you are in an area far from home or an unfamiliar place, be really careful with where you walk your pet. Always be wary of your surroundings and keep an eye on your cat or dog at all times.

 

Pack with them in mind. While it may be tempting to pack light and only include essentials, don’t forget your furry friend’s necessary items. You’ll need bowls, food, water, a carrier, a leash, and toys to entertain them with. It would also be beneficial to have a recent picture of your dog just in case you lose them. Bring their proof of vaccinations and be sure to read up on any potential wildlife threats in the area you’ll be visiting so that you can plan accordingly. Bring a life vest if you’ll be participating in water-related activities.

 

Consider checking your pet into a boarding facility. Island Trees Veterinary Hospital recommends boarding your pet if you are going on a trip. Having a team dedicated to caring for your pet can sometimes be better for them rather than taking them on the trip with you. While we all love to spend more time with our pets, sometimes boarding them can be the right option.

 

If you’re looking for more helpful tips for traveling with your pet, don’t hesitate to ask! Give our team a call at (516) 735-0090 and our front desk staff will be happy to assist you.

Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

Summer is an excellent time to get outside with your furry friend! It can also be risky for your pet’s health and wellness. There are some steps you can take to help ensure that your dog has a care-free and safe summer. Read some tips below from your Plainview veterinarian, Dr. Gottlieb, to help keep your pet happy and comfortable all summer long.

 

  1. Never leave them in the car. Leaving your dog in the car, even for a few moments, can leave them at risk for serious health issues. On a 90-degree day, it only takes about 20 minutes for your car to reach 130 degrees. Dogs can’t regulate body temperature the same way humans do and they are left at great risk if left alone in the heat. Cracking the window open is not enough and has little effect on the internal heat of the car. Always take your dog with you if you need to run an errand while they are with you, otherwise, it may be best to leave them at home.
  2. Avoid sunburn. Shorthaired pets can benefit from the use of sunscreen on sunny days. Pink or white areas of skin are vulnerable to sun damage. Areas like their nose, ears, lips, and bellies don’t have hair to protect them and may require some help. There are specific products available for pets to help prevent sunburn. There are various options ranging from organic, vegan, and chemical-free. While haircuts can help keep your pet cool, their fur can actually help protect them from the sun. Don’t completely shave your pet and always provide lots of shade for them to relax under.
  3. Be mindful of when you exercise. Pets need to remain active and use their energy, even in the hot summer months. There are ways you can still provide sufficient exercise time for your pet while also protecting them from the heat. Exercise either before the sun comes up or after it sets. This will help keep your pet cool and protect their skin from sun damage.
  4. Avoid hot asphalt. Asphalt can be incredibly hot for your pet’s paws. The proximity of their body to the asphalt can also raise their body temperature drastically. Choose to walk your dog on the grass or a sidewalk instead of the street, or consider buying shoes for them to protect their paws during the hottest hours of the day.
  5. Avoid humidity. Humid weather can interfere with your pet’s ability to pant and keep themselves cool. If it is too humid and hot outside, consider keeping your walk as short as possible so that you can return to the air conditioning indoors.
  6. Use air conditioning. Modern conveniences can help your pet stay comfortable and healthy all summer long. Providing enough shade, water, and air conditioning can help your pet stay happy and energetic throughout the summer season. Your Plainview veterinarian recommends turning on the AC, even when you’re not home, to make sure that your pet is comfortable all day long.
  7. Leave them at home. It may be tempting to want to bring your furry friend everywhere with you. Summer adventures are so much more fun with your best companion! However, sometimes leaving your pet at home is the most sensible option. Crowded or hot environments can stress your dog out, and they may be susceptible to heat stroke or even behavioral problems.
  8. Be prepared for fireworks. Fireworks can scare your pet and make them skittish. Choosing to leave them at home will ensure that they don’t run off during any barbeques or pool parties. Staying home with them may be a good idea to help them feel safe and calm. A scared dog tends to be a little destructive to the house, so your presence may be able to ease those nerves.
  9. Check for ticks. Ticks can carry diseases that may be harmful to your pet’s health. Always check for ticks after walking them in grassy or wooded areas. Your Plainview veterinarian recommends using a tick prevention treatment year-round to protect your pet during all seasons.
  10. Don’t assume your dog can swim. Not all dogs can swim, so don’t ever throw them in the pool or leave them outside alone. If you have an inground pool, make sure there is a fence so that your dog can’t get to it. Not only can they drown, but drinking pool chemicals can be toxic to your pet. You can train your dog to swim or enroll them in swimming classes in case of emergency. Always monitor your dog in the pool to make sure that they don’t have difficulty from the exhaustion of swimming. You can also invest in a kiddie pool that would provide your pet with relief from the heat while also being shallow enough to eliminate risk.

Celebrate a Safe Holiday Season with Your Pet

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Holiday season adornments are attractive to all creatures. The ornaments, foods, gifts, wrappings, ribbons, lights and plants are all curiosities for pets. Pets investigate new items by sniffing, tossing, chasing and finally by tasting. A few precautions are necessary to avoid the holiday crowds at the veterinary hospital.

Behold! Everything Looks Delicious

The most common problems this time of year are stomach or intestinal disturbances caused by pets eating the holiday feast or other novelties. Scraps from the table can cause gastrointestinal upset and even predispose pets to life-threatening pancreatitis. Bones can get stuck in the mouth or perforate the intestines and should be avoided. Chocolate is poisonous to cats, dogs and birds. Plastic wrap and aluminum foil (coated with good-tasting juices) are enticing but can cause intestinal damage and even blockage if eaten by your pet.

Other sweet treats like gum and hard candies can also make your pet ill. Sugar-free candies and gum are made with xylitol, a sugar substitute that can cause a drop in blood sugar, depression, loss of coordination and seizures in your pet. Xylitol is also linked to liver failure in dogs. Be sure to keep all candies, chocolate and other sweets out of your pet’s reach. If you believe your pet may have ingested chocolate or candy, call your veterinarian immediately.

Be sure to properly dispose of leftovers and wrappers. Feed pets their usual diet. Treats formulated similarly to the pet’s regular diet are generally healthy and safe. Also keep in mind while cooking that pets may not know about hot stoves or to stay out from underfoot. Keep pets away from the stove so they don’t get burned or have hot foods spilled on them.

Holiday Plants and Decorations

Several decorative plants are poisonous. Mistletoe and holly can cause stomach upset with vomiting and diarrhea. The berries of these plants are attractive, easily swallowed and potentially fatal if consumed. Poinsettias, like the leaves of most any plant, can also cause stomach upset. Use artificial mistletoe and holly, and keep other plants out of your pet’s reach.

Make sure Christmas trees are secured so pets can’t pull them over. Omit preservatives from the tree-stand water and cover the tree well so pets don’t drink from it. Don’t spray fake snow on the tree unless it is labeled safe for pet consumption. Angel hair is spun glass and is irritating to both the inside and outside of your pet. Even glass ornaments and ornament hooks have been chewed and swallowed. These objects can cause problems from stomach upset to damaged intestines. Low-hanging ornaments are a real temptation, as are tinsel and electric lights. Decorative lights and electrical wiring can cause shock or burns when chewed, so remember to unplug holiday lights when pets are left unattended.

The Hustle and Bustle of Goings-On

Holidays have lots of activity. Be sure doors are not left open as guests come and go. Indoor pets inadvertently left outside could be injured by frostbite, cars or other animals. Ice-melting chemicals and salt on sidewalks and roads can severely burn foot pads and should be washed off right away. Also, watch that guests don’t leave interesting objects such as chocolate, ribbons, stocking stuffers or other illicit treats, within your pet’s reach.

If your pet does get sick, consult your veterinarian before giving any medications. Many of the over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, Excedrin and ibuprofin), Advil and Motrin, are toxic for animals even though they are safe for us. Don’t wait to see if your pet gets better. If your pet is acting sick, consult your veterinarian immediately.

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