A Santa Clarita veterinarian is talking about holiday pet safety tips as Christmas quickly approaches.Don’t miss a thing. Get breaking KHTS Santa Clarita News Alerts delivered right to your inbox.
Many common holiday traditions, ranging from opening presents to having a big family dinner, can actually be dangerous for pets if pet owners aren’t careful, according to Dr. Jaimie Ronchetto of Cinema Veterinary Centre.
When wrapping paper, ribbon, tinsel and other decorative present toppers start flying on Christmas day, Ronchetto advised keeping a close eye on both dogs and cats.
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“I know a lot of dogs that like to rip and tear (wrapping paper) on Christmas,” Ronchetto said. “We have to make sure that they’re not trying to ingest it, that they don’t get carried away and start trying to eat it.”
Similarly, cats tend to be drawn toward tinsel and ribbon, but instead of merely ripping them up, are much more likely to try to ingest them.
“With cats, they like ribbon and they like tinsel and things like that, so trying to keep them away from that would be good because they tend to get carried away,” Ronchetto said. “They can try to eat it, and then that causes major problems.”
A common decorative holiday plant that is toxic to pets is the poinsettia, which Ronchetto recommends keeping outside where pets have no access.
“Especially cats tend to chew on plants more than dogs in my experience,” she said.
When it comes to food, Ronchetto recommends making sure pets can’t access — and aren’t given table scraps — of foods containing bones or foods that are too fatty or rich, which can not only cause upset stomachs, but serious issues like pancreatitis.
Chocolate tends to be part of holiday celebrations as well, and is extremely toxic to pets, according to Ronchetto.
“The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is,” she said.
If a pet ingests chocolate, it can have a variety of effects ranging from gastrointestinal upset to neurological symptoms, seizures and more.
“If they were to ingest any sort of chocolate at all, it’s best to get them seen right away,” Ronchetto said, “so we can assess … and get them the treatment needed before signs start.”
Ed. Note: This article is a KHTS Feature story based on a recent radio interview with Cinema Veterinary Centre.
Dr. Jaimie Ronchetto, DVM, is a Santa Clarita veterinarian who opened her own veterinary hospital in Valencia after spending several years in private practice as an associate veterinarian at other SCV hospitals. Ronchetto and the staff at Cinema Veterinary Centre strive to give every dog, cat and pocket pet outstanding quality care in the areas of medicine and surgery. A Hart High School graduate, Ronchetto earned her BS degree from UC Davis and graduated with Honors from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine.
23460 Cinema Drive
Valencia, CA 91355