Keeping Your Pets Safe During the Holidays

The holidays are a time of joy, time with family and friends and exchanging good tidings. The last thing that you want is for this to be a time spent in the emergency room with your pet. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the holidays and keep your pet safe.

  • High fat foods, such as ham, gravy, butter and desserts, may cause inflammation of your dog’s pancreas. Pancreatitis causes intense abdominal pain and vomiting and requires hospitalization to recover. Keep foods securely sealed and enclosed in a high space or the refrigerator. Secure the lid on the trash can to avoid garbage raiding.
  • Bones: chewing on bones, particularly turkey bones, can cause splintering. Once swallowed, the splintered bones can cause trauma to the intestinal tract, requiring surgery. Ham bones, while they tend to not splinter, are hard and can fracture teeth when your dog chews on them.
  • Onions and onion powder: in large enough quantities can cause a sudden onset of anemia.
  • Foreign objects: such as string (used to tie the turkey), skewers, plastic bags and turkey poppers. Your pet does not have self restraint or the common sense to avoid these objects that drip of meat juices.
  • Toxins: Mistletoe and holly are toxic plants. Caution with snow globes as they contain toxic antifreeze, which is highly toxic to pets.
  • Tree:
    – Secure the tree to avoid the tree falling onto your pet if they decide to climb.
    – Ornaments should be kept on higher branches to avoid breaking, eating and destruction.
    – Tinsel should not be used as pets love to play with it and if eaten, can cause serious injury to the intestinal tract and require surgery to repair.
    – If you put chemicals in the water of your tree, cover the bowl so your pet does not drink from it.
    – Sweep up pine needles to avoid health problems.
  • Maintain routines: With all of the people in the house, some pets may become nervous with the change in routine. Provide your pet with a retreat space to unwind from it all. Be sure to keep normal routines especially exercise for your pet.
  • Watch that door: If you expect a large number of people in your home, be sure to watch the door to make sure that there are no unexpected escapes.

If you want to offer your pet something special too, choose alternative treats such as a new toy or extra bonding and exercise time. At the end of the day, you will be thankful you did.

As always, if you are concerned about your pet’s health or behavior do not hesitate to contact us.

Wishing you and your family all the best during this holiday season,
Your Friends at Hill & Harbour Veterinary Center

Thanksgiving and Your Pets

Photo by Attila Jozsa on Pexels.com

The smells of Thanksgiving fill your home and everyone’s mouth begins to water … including your pet’s! This time of year brings out the counter surfing talents of your pets. Taking care to keep irresistible flavors away from your pets palate prevents unwanted illness. Many pets receive small amounts of trimmings from the kitchen throughout the year; however, Thanksgiving tends to bring out an overabundance in everyone. Here are some food items to be aware of:

  • High fat foods, such as ham, gravy, butter, and desserts, may cause inflammation of your dog’s pancreas. Pancreatitis causes intense abdominal pain and vomiting and requires hospitalization to recover. Keep foods securely sealed and enclosed in a high space or the refrigerator. Secure the lid on the trash can to avoid garbage raiding.
  • Bones: chewing on bones, particularly turkey bones, can cause splintering. Once swallowed, the splintered bones can cause trauma to the intestinal tract, requiring surgery. Ham bones, while they tend to not splinter, are hard and can fracture teeth during chewing.
  • Onions and onion powder: in large enough quantities can cause a sudden onset of anemia.
  • Foreign objects: such as string (used to tie the turkey), skewers, plastic bags and turkey poppers. Your pet does not have self-restraint or the common sense to avoid these objects that drip of meat juices.

Thanksgiving is not only a time for sharing food – it is a time to share with family and friends. If you expect a large number of people in your home, be sure to watch the door to make sure that there are no unexpected escapes. With all of the people in the house, some pets may become nervous with the change in routine. Provide your pet with a retreat space to unwind from it all.

If you want to offer your pet something special too, choose alternative treats such as a new toy or extra bonding and exercise time. At the end of the day, you will be thankful you did.

As always, feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns this holiday season.

Happy Holidays from your friends at Hill and Harbour Veterinary Center!

Tips for Making Those Trips to the Vet Purr-fect


According to a recent survey of pet owners, the stress of taking your pet to the veterinarian’s office is a major reason for not seeking veterinary care, particularly with regard to those frisky kitties of ours. However, because your pet needs regular preventive medical care to ensure optimal health and quality of life, here are some tips to ease the process:

Kennel/Crate. Introduce your pet to a crate or kennel before it comes time to use it to travel to the veterinary practice. Once your pet accepts and uses the crate, the crate can be used to transport him to and from the veterinary practice.

Hiding places.  Some pets feel more comfortable when they can hide. Provide a blanket in the crate for your pet to hide under. You can also use a blanket to cover the crate and give her a sense of protection.

Car rides.  Consider placing your pet’s crate on the floor of the front seat to provide a visual barrier as well as calming white noise from the engine running. Safety belts specially adapted for dogs are also available. If your pet does get car sick, speak with your veterinarian about strategies to alleviate the symptoms.

Pheromone spray.  A pheromone is a species-specific chemical naturally released by your cat/dog. These naturally occurring pheromones are available from your veterinarian, verified online pet pharmacies, and pet stores. Spray the pheromones on your pet’s bedding or on a bandanna to be worn around his neck one to two hours before coming to the veterinary practice.

Practice sessions.  Call ahead to your veterinary practice to find out when there is a quiet time to visit. During the visit, your pet can calmly walk around the practice and even enter the exam room. Use treats and positive praise with your pet as you tour around.

Distractions.  Bring your pet’s favorite treats/toys to give them something positive to focus on during the visit.

Choose a comfortable place.  If your pet is nervous when you arrive at the veterinary practice, be sure to find a quiet seat away from other pets. If necessary, you can call ahead to request that you and your pet be placed in an exam room right away to minimize stress.

The Bottom Line. Taking your pet to the veterinarian’s office should be a fun interactive experience. If you feel something could be done differently in the practice to make your pet more comfortable, do not hesitate to discuss these concerns with us. We want to make your pet’s experience positive so that we can deliver the highest quality of care.

Hill & Harbour Veterinary Center is a small animal general practice, specializing in preventative care, surgery, dental health, and emergency medicine.
Contact Us:
500 Main Street, East Greenwich, RI 02818
(401) 398-7807 ~ info@hillandharbourvets.com