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Protecting Your Pet During the Holiday Season

Dr. Lorie Huston Discusses Potential Household Risks for Pets During the Holidays

GreeniesNashville, TN – The GREENIES® Brand has partnered with veterinarian Dr. Lorie Huston, author of the Pet Health Care Gazette and veterinary expert for petMD’s The Daily Vet, to share insights about the health hazards pet owners may not be aware of for pets during the holidays and tips on how to protect against them.

Holiday Havoc—The holidays can be a stressful time for pets. In many households, the holidays bring frequent visitors and major changes in the daily routine. As such, it’s important to provide pets with a private area of their own. This should be a room or area of the home where guests are not allowed.

Pets will find comfort in being able to retire to a quiet place where they can escape the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Above all, it’s important for pet owners to allow a little extra time during the holidays to pay special attention to their pets.

Poisonous Plants—Though seemingly harmless, holiday plants can be highly toxic for our four-legged friends. Poinsettia ingestion can cause mild intestinal problems for pets and irritation to the mouth and stomach. Pets that ingest certain types of mistletoe can become ill as well. Other plants like holly, amaryllis and lilies are also known to be quite toxic to pets, so make sure that when decorating the house, these items are in areas not frequented by pets or at levels pets cannot reach.

Dangerous Decorations—Items like tinsel and ribbons may be potential choking hazards for pets, and tree ornaments, usually fragile in nature, can be hazardous if broken. Water used at the base of live Christmas trees is often stagnant and may contain fertilizers or other preservatives that can upset a pet’s stomach. Lastly, curious pets can run into trouble when investigating candles or potpourri, so be sure to keep these items out of a pet’s line of sight!

Fattening Foods—While it may be tempting to share a holiday meal with your dog or cat, it’s probably best to rethink that strategy as many holiday foods can be unhealthy for pets. Things like chocolate, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts and even onions can be toxic to pets. Xylitol-containing sweets and gums can make pets very ill, and foods with high fat content have been known to cause pancreatitis, especially in dogs. Seek out nutritious and purposeful treats when shopping for holiday goodies, like those offered by the GREENIES® Brand.

Being aware of these holiday health hazards equips pet owners with the knowledge they need to make this holiday season a healthy and safe one for pets. For more tips, visit www.greenies.com and www.lorie-huston.com.

About Dr. Lorie Huston

Dr. Lorie Huston is a long-time veterinarian, an expert in pet health and pet care and a freelance author. Lorie began her freelance career in 2001 when she realized that there was a need for accurate, well-written information about pet care. Faced with veterinary clients who were presenting inaccurate information obtained from online and print sources, she set out to provide accurate, up-to-date information about pet health and pet care, available for all pet owners.

Dr. Huston has written hundreds of articles pertaining to the care and well-being of dogs, cats and other pets while continuing to practice veterinary medicine and maintains a blog called The Pet Health Care Gazette. She also contributes to petMD’s The Daily Vet blog.

About The Nutro Company

The Nutro Company is a leading manufacturer of natural* pet food products sold exclusively at pet specialty stores.  The company has been making “The World’s Best Pet Food” for more than 80 years and is dedicated to quality, excellence and innovation in dog and cat nutrition offering healthful formulas for every pet’s life stage, activity level and size.

The Nutro Company’s family of brands includes MAX®, NATURAL CHOICE® and ULTRA™ pet food brands in addition to the GREENIES® brands, which include the #1 vet recommended pet specialty dental chews**, PILL POCKETS® treats and JointCare treats.  For more information, please visit www.nutro.com and www.greenies.com.

®/™ Trademarks © The Nutro Company 2011

*Natural with added vitamins, minerals and other trace nutrients.

**Among veterinarians that recommend dental chews for at home oral care.

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