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Does your pet need to go on a diet?

 

Velcro-650x437

It’s the start of a brand new year. It’s not uncommon for people to make resolutions for themselves when a new year rolls around. It’s a great time for a fresh start and to live the life you want to live.

One very popular resolution people often make it to eat healthier – often to lose weight. I have to admit that I have made that resolution pretty much every year for as long as I can remember. I stopped making resolutions and opted on making better choices for myself and my family.

Have you ever given any thought to making resolutions for your pet? Clearly Fido and Fluffy don’t need to resolve to be more organized or aim for a promotion at work. You pets can benefit from eating healthier, losing weight and getting in more exercise. It’s up to you as their “pet parent” to make that resolution for them and do what you can to follow through.

Obesity is on the rise across the country. Did you know what pet obesity is also a problem? It’s estimated 54% of dogs and 58% of cats are overweight or obese and according to Data from Nationwide, pet obesity is on the rise for the sixth straight year.

Obesity is a significant risk factor for many life-threatening diseases that affect dogs and cats but with diligence and effort, your pet can lose weight too.

I know all about obese pets. We have five cats and a dog (plus a Goldfish). Two of our cats are significantly overweight. Two are within a normal weight range and one is very skinny with sagging skin. The one skinny one with the sagging skin (named Velcro – he’s pictured at the top of this post) used to be obese too. His obesity lead to Diabetes. In addition he’s lost almost all of his teeth. He has to eat soft foods (like pates) because he can’t chew. He does try to chew, but its not easy for him.

Velcro (orange) and Padmé  (Gray) before Velcro developed Diabetes

Velcro (orange) and Padmé (Gray) before Velcro developed Diabetes

Obese pets might make for adorable YouTube videos, but the reality is obesity DOES lead to health issues, and even early death from health issues. If you truly love your pet you don’t want to contribute to their health issues or cause them to die young.

Velcro always had a great appetite. He eventually tipped the scales at 24 pounds. We didn’t see him as obese, per say. We knew he was a big cat, but he ate well and was always very playful, even at his heaviest. We honestly didn’t think his health was at stake.

We noticed that Velcro drank a lot more water than usual, and he was loosing weight. We took him to the vet to have him checked out. The vet told us he had Diabetes and he would need insulin shots twice a day, every day, for the rest of his life. At that time he was 9 years old. He had a long life ahead of him. I had another Diabetic cat when I was younger. She lived to be 22 years old. The last four years of her life she had Diabetes. She was not overweight.

Now we live with the reality of having a cat with Diabetes. His insulin is OVER $300+ per vial (the price keeps going up). The syringes to give him his shots twice a day costs us $36 for 100, so we need to purchase them every month and a half. His vet bills are also astronomical because he requires special blood tests.

Velcro is very skinny with saggy skin. The vet says he’s healthy (as long as we watch what he eats and give him his insulin) and he’s very playful. I just wish we too heed to his obesity and did something about it sooner.

Anakin - he's about 24 pounds. He's not only overweight but he's a huge cat (you should see his paws!)

Anakin – he’s about 24 pounds. He’s not only overweight but he’s a huge cat (you should see his paws!)

I’ve noticed that one of our other obese cats, Anakin, drinks A LOT of water. He hasn’t lost weight, but I fear he’s going to end up with Diabetes too. We already have one cat with Diabetes, another cat with a lot of health issues (non-weight related) and a dog with a fatal liver disease. We cannot afford another sick pet.

Pet obesity can not only lead to Diabetes, it can also cause damage to joints and bones, which can cause pain and discomfort. Obesity can also lead to heart problems, high blood pressure, decreased liver function and a risk of cancer to name a FEW (there are more health issues that can be caused by obesity). Basically, the same health issues that can come from human obesity can also happen to pets.

It’s not too late to do something about it. Start TODAY to help your pet lose weight and get healthy.

Here are some thing you can do right now to help your pet lead a long, happy and health life.

Stop feeding your pet tables scraps and people food (UNLESS your pet is already on a natural food diet). Many foods are toxic to pets (onions, chocolate, garlic, grapes…). Other foods can be dangerous (chips can get lodged in their throat, they can choke on pits).

Makes sure your pet has amble clean, fresh water daily.

Limit treats. If you want to get your pet a treat make sure it’s a treat made for animals and limit it to one or two treats once a day. Too many treats can cause your pet to gain weight.

Don’t over feed your pet. Read the label and find out what the recommend amount of food is for your pets size/weight. Don’t just fill up a bowl of dry food. Weight and measure it so you know you are feeding your pet the correct amount.

Make sure your pet gets plenty of exercise. Take your dog for a hike or a run. Buy a laser light for your cat and have them run around and chase after it. Do what you can do get your pet moving.

Kitty - She's a normal weight for a cat.

Kitty – She’s a normal weight for a cat.

Bed-2

Bella is also a normal weight for a cat.

Feed your pet quality food. Believe it or not, not all pet food is made the same way. Many pet foods you find at your local grocery store is more additives and fillers than actual food and nutrition. That is why those pet foods are so inexpensive. Look at them as the “fast food” of pet foods. It may look good and taste good, but when you break them down and check out the ingredients you’ll see that there is nothing healthy or nutritious about them.

Petcurean is healthy pet food option. Petcurean offers a variety of dog and cat foods to suit your pet’s preferences and dietary needs.

If you are not sure which pet food would be best for your dog or cat, you can check out Petcurean’s Food Finder.

Petcurean has options that include foods made with totally fresh ingredients, food made with organic ingredients, and food for specific health requirements, including foods for pets who require grain free foods and/or foods with limited ingredients. Our dog can only eat food with limited ingredients. He has a very sensitive stomach and the littlest change can cause him to have and upset stomach (and diarrhea) for days, if not weeks.

Think about it – pet food is similar to human food by that if you feed yourself only cheap, “junk” foods you are not doing your body any good. The same applies with pets. If you feed them “junk” foods (pet food made with man-made ingredients, fillers and additives) it’s not healthy for them, most especially if you want them to lose or maintain a healthy weight.

You can learn more about Petcurean by visiting Petcurean.com. The brand is also found on social media. All of their links are found at the bottom of their website. You can even print out a money saving coupon (found towards the bottom of the Petcurean website).

Petcurean foods can be found at many pet stores across the country.

Does your pet have a weight problem? If so, what are you doing to help him/her lose weight and get healthy?

If you have any tips for keeping your pet happy and healthy please feel free to leave a comment and tell me about them. I always love to hear from readers.

Petcurean Logo

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Petcurean to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

 

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Cold Weather Woes – Here are 6 tips to avoid a chilly trip to the vet’s office

 

 

Our dog Espn enjoying the snow.

Our dog Espn enjoying the snow.

During these winter months it can be challenging to keep our pets healthy and happy. The cold weather often brings a slew of things to watch out for when it comes to keeping Fido and Fluffy out of trouble. 

Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM offers a few essentials to get your furry friend through these cold months without a trip to the vet’s office.

When using ice melting products like Rock salt and De-icing chemicals, spritz your pet’s feet with water when they come back inside to avoid irritation of their skin and paws. Signs of ingestion include excess drooling, depression and vomiting.

Antifreeze is deadly for pets. Clean up spills/leaks immediately and make sure that it is stored in a sealed container locked in a secured cabinet. If you think your pet has consumed anti-freeze, this is a true life or death emergency! Go to your vet ASAP and call ahead while you are on your way!

Keep your pets protected from the frigid temperatures (if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet. Offer a little extra food during the winter months because more calories are burned trying to maintain body heat)

Frost bite risk areas include your pet’s ears, nose, tip of the tail and ears. Frostbitten areas of skin initially turn a reddish color then become gray.  To treat frostbite: give your pet a warm bath and wrap him or her up in warm towels. Don’t rub an area that has frostbite!

Homemade meals for your pet are a healthy and cost effective way to ensure your pet is getting essential nutrients without the risk of indigestion, weight gain due to over eating and the high caloric intake of processed foods. Cuisine made of equal portions of a lean protein (chicken, turkey, beef, veal, duck, fish or eggs), long-acting carbohydrates (potatoes, rice, pasta or oatmeal) and fresh vegetables (broccoli, spinach, green beans, lima beans, peas and carrots) are ideal. Cats require more protein than dogs, so 80 percent lean protein and 20 percent veggies is perfect.

Rat and Mouse baits are usually used more often in cold weather. Place baits in areas inaccessible to your pets. Peanut butter baits smell good and are tasty to pets. Save labels, and if you think bait has been eaten by your pet, get to your vet ASAP. Call ahead while you are on your way! Most pets are treated with Vitamin K therapy and recover.

Cat Snow

About the author: 

Dr. Carol Osborne is an author and world-renowned integrative veterinarian of twenty plus years. After graduating she launched a very successful private practice and became founder and director of the non-profit organization, the American Pet Institute. Dr. Carol offers traditional veterinary care for dogs and cats with a softer, natural touch. For more information visit chagrinfallspetclinic.com.

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A Dog’s Purpose – in theaters January 27, 2017 (giveaway ends 1/20/17)

 

adogspurpose-poster

Coming to theaters across the country on January 27, 2017 is the film A Dog’s Purpose.

The film stars Britt Robertson, KJ Apa, John Ortiz, with Dennis Quaid and features Josh Gad voice as the dogs featured in the story.

I have a copy of the book. It’s the next book I’ll be reading as soon as I have a chance.

If you follow me on Instagram (SheScribes) you might have seen the photo of my book.

a-dogs-purpose-book

Here is a brief synopsis of the film.

Based on the beloved bestselling novel by W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog’s Purpose, from director Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules, Dear John, The 100-Foot Journey), shares the soulful and surprising story of one devoted dog (voiced by Josh Gad) who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love.  The family film told from the dog’s perspective also stars Dennis Quaid, Peggy Lipton, Britt Robertson, K.J. Apa, Juilet Rylance, Luke Kirby, John Ortiz and Pooch Hall.

A Dog’s Purpose is produced by Gavin Polone (Zombieland, TV’s Gilmore Girls).  The film from Amblin Entertainment and Walden Media is executive produced by Alan Blomquist and Mark Sourian, and it will be distributed by Universal Pictures.

Check out the film’s trailer.

 

This film looks REALLY good. As an animal lover I want to see this film, but at the same time I think it might be sad. I’ll need to bring a box of tissues (or two) when I go and see it at our local theater.

I grew up with dogs. I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have a dog.

My first dog was named Dutchess. She was a beautiful collie mix. You can see her laying in the background in the photo below (that is me as a little girl). I wish I had a better photo of her.

dutchess

The dog we have now is named Espn. He’s a Rat Terrier/Maltese mix (or so we were told by the shelter where we adopted him from). We jokingly refer to him as the “hairy rat dog.” LOL!

Espn (pronounced Es-pin) has long hair, but we get him groomed every other month to keep his fur trimmed. We prefer him with trimmed hair.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Espn un-groomed

espn-toys

Espn groomed

Sadly, Espn has a fatal liver disease called Hepatocutaneous Syndrome. There is no cure for it. We can extend his life with expensive infusions, but we can’t afford them (nor do we have the physical time to take him to a specialist far away 2-3 times per weed). So we’ve just been doing our best to keep him as happy and healthy as possible. He’s actually lasted longer than the vet anticipated.

For this reason I think I’ll have a hard time watching A Dog’s Purpose – because I cannot imagine a life without Espn.

If you would like to learn more about the film by checking out it’s Official Website. You can also check out the film on social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The official hashtag is #ADogsPurpose.

adogspurpose-poster

You can even recreate the #ADogsPurpose movie poster using your dog. Your furry friend could even be featured in the film’s campaign! Get started now: http://unvrs.al/ADPPoster. Be sure to upload your dog’s poster to social media and use the hashtag #ADogsPurpose.

adp-prizepack

I also have a giveaway for a lucky reader, compliments of Universal Pictures. The prize package includes;

  • $25 Fandango gift code to see A Dog’s Purpose in theaters January 27
  • A Dog’s Purpose Calendar, Bandana, T-Shirt, Tennis Ball Launcher, and Frisbee

The prize package is shown above. NOT PICTURED are the calendar and ball launcher. BOTH will be included in the prize package along with the $25 Fandango gift card. 

These giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on January 20, 2017. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this prize package and/or if you plan on seeing the film?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I will receive the same prize package in exchange for my participation. There is no other compensation. The prizing and samples are compliments of Universal Pictures. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Holiday gifts for man’s best friend

 

Our dog Espn and our kids taken a few years ago at Christmas time.

Our dog Espn and our kids taken a few years ago at Christmas time.

Christmas is less than a week away. We’re going to “blink” and it will be all over with and we’ll be ready to pack up our holiday decorations until next year. Sigh… time flies too quickly.

Are you done with your holiday shopping yet? We are for the most part but my husband did mention last night that we didn’t get much for our pets for Christmas this year. Normally I do buy them things but this year they received their gifts before Christmas. For example, our cats received a brand new, huge cat scratcher a few weeks ago after they totally destroyed their old one. And our dog always gets a new toy whenever I go to the pet store – even if I’m not going for him. A couple of weeks ago we stopped in for fish food and filters for the fish tank. Our dog got a toy from that trip.

I’d like to think that we spoil them year round and that we don’t need Christmas to treat them special. They are always treated that way.

If you love to give your furry friend gifts for the holiday, Petmate has the paw-fect gift.

Petmate®, the worldwide leader of solutions and excellence in the pet industry providing fun trusted, quality products to enhance the lives of pets and their families, has some fun new ideas for the holiday season.

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Holiday Heggies

  • These quirky characters are soft and cuddly
  • Perfect for all sized dogs who like to love on their toys
  • Grunting sound drives dogs wild!
  • New Characters include an Ornament, Elf and Angel

MSRP: $9.99

Oh my goodness! These are beyond adorable! They are way too cute to give to your dog to mangle and chew to pieces.

We have one of these adorable critters (an angel) and it’s sitting on the back of the love seat with our other plush holiday toys. I haven’t the heart to give it to our dog because I know it’s going to end up all a mess.

hedgehog

Aspen Pet® Luxe Velvet Collection

  • Updated classic styles in the Fall season’s most updated fabric – Velvet!
  • Textured velvet adds visual interest
  • Tufting adds a tailored look and feel
  • MSRP and Sizing:
    • 27×36 Luxe Pillow Bed $29.99
    • 21×19 Wrap Lounger $29.99

bedding

We have the wrap lounger (same color). Our dog Espn love it. I think it’s because he can snuggle inside of it (I think it’s a safety/security kind of thing). Of course he has to fight our cats for it. Two of our five cats have claimed it as theirs, so at any given time there is usually a dog (or cat) snuggled up inside of the bed.

The bed is so soft and plush. I wish I could curl up on it and go to sleep.

I like the size too. It’s just right for our dog and cats. It’s not too big and not too small.

bed

Chuckit! Sport LX Launchers System

  • New LX Launchers designed for family play!
  • Lacrosse style basket allows throwing and catching, plus hands-free, slobber-free pickup
  • Sport LX sells as a two launcher bundle
  • Includes medium tennis ball
  • MSRP: $19.99

ci

I wish our dog wasn’t ill. Something like this would be fun for him.

If you have a dog that loves to run, jump and chase things this toy is a must have. You will need a backyard or park where you an “chuck it.”

I have seen these in action. They are super cool. It sure beats tossing a ball the old fashioned way.

1

JW Hol-ee Wobbler

  • Top half holds treats while bottom half is weighted and auto rights
  • Made of durable rubber
  • Comparable to medium Hol-ee Roller
  • Comes in assorted colors: red, green, blue
  • MSRP: $9.99

2

JW Hol-ee Egg

  • Center cavity can hold treats or squeaker ball that helps keep dogs interest with closed off ends
  • Available in two sizes to match comparable small and medium Hol-ee Rollers
  • Made of durable rubber
  • Comes in assorted colors: orange, green and blue
  • MSRP and Sizing:
    • Small: $7.99
    • Medium: $9.99

3

JW Mixed Up Cuz

  • All the benefits of a ball with some added style
  • One size for all dogs
  • New mixed material construction combines durable nylon

With thermoplastic rubber for a whole new effect

  • Comes in assorted colors
  • MSRP and Sizing:
    • JW Mixed Zig Zag Cuz: $9.99
    • JW Mixed Ying Yang  Cuz: $9.99
    • JW Mixed Ribbed Cuz: $9.99

These are all fun toys for your best friend.

You can find Petmate toys in many pet stores across the country.

For more information on these and other Petmate products visit Petmate.com. The brand is also found on social media. All of their links are found at the bottom of their website.

petmate-logo

Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Spoil the Animal Lover in Your Life with IMAD

 

Dog Cat

It’s always nice to find the “perfect” gift for that special someone on your holiday shopping list. It’s even nicer when the gift you are giving also helps out a charity – or shall I say – a gift that gives back.

When it comes to holiday shopping I will look for gifts that help make a difference. I also think it’s important to think about charities year round and not just during the holiday season. That means, if I need to buy a birthday gift or an anniversary gift, I will strongly consider gifts that give back in some way over regular gifts.

Do you have an animal lover in your life? I’m an animal lover. I think our five cats, dog and Goldfish should give you some idea of how much we love and appreciate animals. If we had the money I would open my own rescue facility and/or a working farm (on a farm I can have cows, chickens, horses…).

Since I am such a big time animal lover, I love to support charities that help out animals. It doesn’t matter if it’s the animal shelter down the street or a charity that protect black rhinos in Africa. All animals deserve to have a long, happy and health life – big or small.

A brand called IMAD is a jewelry company that uses fashion as a way to raise awareness for the injustice animals face worldwide, such as pollution, poaching, dog fighting and more. IMAD offers a wide range of necklaces, pendants, gemstones, key chains and treats.

imad-banner

IMAD has an amazing collection of animal-themed pendants to get you in the giving back spirit. From the black rhino and the Sumatran elephant to pit bulls and rottweilers, IMAD is devoted to making the world a better place for critically endangered animals and mistreated dogs.

Each time you purchase an IMAD pendant, $1 of that sale will be donated to the Animal Welfare Institute, an organization dedicated to the better treatment of all animals.

IMAD pendants are beautifully made and features the name of the animal engraved on the back with a leaf that symbolizes its use of recycled bronze.

In addition to helping out animals and wildlife, IMAD jewelry is also eco-friendly.

I have a necklace from IMAD that features a Golden Retriever, which is a very popular dog breed. It comes with an 18″ necklace.

imad

It’s a decent sized pendant (a little bigger than a quarter) and it looks really nice on, especially if you are wearing a blouse with a “V” neckline.

It’s heavy, but not too heavy, in weight too.

There are a variety of dog breeds available include Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Pitt Bull, Pug, Chihuahua and more. Of course they also feature the Black Rhino, Tiger, Gorilla, Elephant and other endangered wildlife.

This holiday season, help make an animals life a little brighter by purchasing a stylish accessory from the Domestic & Endangered Animal Pendant Collection at IMAD. Not only will you be stylishly accessorized, but you’ll also feel good by doing good wearing an “I Made Difference” necklace.

If you would like to learn more, or to make a purchase, visit IMadJewelry.com. You can also check them out on social media. All of their links are found at the bottom of their website.

You can also see what others are saying by checking out the hashtags #IMAD, #IMADJewlry and #MakeADifference.

What do you think of this jewelry line? Did you see a piece you like? Would you consider gifting a piece of jewelry from IMAD?

dogs

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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The Holiday Gifts You Hate Getting Can Also Sicken Your Pet

 

jack russel terrier and kitten

They say you should never look a gift horse in the mouth, but finding flaws in holiday presents could save pet parents an unexpected trip to the vet—and a blow to their budgets.

Petplan claims data shows that treatments during a holiday week can cost twice as much (or more!) than at other times of the year, mainly because pets end up at emergency vets when their regular docs close for holiday hours.

“Never has the phrase ‘the gift that keeps on giving’ been more ominous for pets,” jokes Petplan Veterinary Manager Elyse Donnarumma. “When you consider that the average claim paid for food poisoning is $585, or that foreign body removal surgery costs an average of $1,327, it is sobering to realize that those costs can easily double during the holidays.”

Which gifts top the naughty list? Many of the same ones you dread getting yourself!  According to Petplan, these are the top 10 gifts that can unwrap disaster:

  1. Bows & Ribbons

Most presents do come wrapped, but the danger of gift ribbon adds insult to injury with less-than-stellar gifts. Ribbons can easily become linear foreign bodies. Avoid an expensive surgery by tossing wrappings in the trash (whether you pitch the gift, too, is completely up to you).

Just ask Petplan policy holder Amanda Tollen, of Conshohocken, PA, about holiday ribbon. Her eight-year-old cat, Bella, racked up a $2,004.70 vet bill for a linear foreign body on December 27, 2015, when she got into the gift ribbon. (photo below)

bella-3

“I am so happy we got pet insurance for Bella,” said Tollen, who was reimbursed over $1,800 thanks to her policy option. “It really saved us a ton of money during one of the most stressful times of the year for our budget. You never know what your pet is going to get into or what illness they will come down with. Having Bella Petplan protected was one of the best decisions we ever made.”

  1. Fruitcake (and its modern-day equivalent, Panettone)

If it wasn’t bad enough that someone spoiled good cake by adding fruit, fruitcake contains a trio of ingredients that can make furry friends sick. Currants, raisins and nuts are toxic to pets, and the spirits the cake is soaked in can be deadly to dogs and cats.

  1. Holiday Plants

The fact that this gift will die in a few days isn’t even the worst thing about it. A snack on Christmas cactus can upset tummies. Christmas lilies can cause kidney failure in kitties. And while poinsettias aren’t as toxic as previously thought, its sap can cause an unpleasant rash.

  1. Scarf/Mittens Set

You probably have half a dozen sets of scarves and mittens, but you’re bound to get another one during the holiday season. Donate the duds before your pet gets his paws on them; yarn can become a linear foreign body if swallowed.

  1. Lottery Tickets

You may have a 1 in 14 million chance of winning your gift, but your pet is much more likely to suffer a foreign body ingestion if he eats the envelope and paper.

family, holidays, generation, christmas and people concept - smiling family with gift boxes at home

  1. Houseguests

There are inevitably some relatives who believe their presence is your present, but they’re not always welcome in the eyes of furry family. Extra people in the house can trigger stomach upset due to stress, and all that coming and going can make it easier for pets to dart out the door and get hit by a car.

  1. Coffee/Hot Chocolate

Coffee mug gift sets are a staple of office holiday giving, but whether there’s beans or cocoa inside, be sure to keep them away from your pet’s paws. The caffeine in coffee and chocolate can trigger hyperactivity, elevated heart rate, seizures and even death.

  1. Bath Products

Nothing says, “I bought this present on the way here,” like a basket of bath products like lotions and salts. It also poses the very serious threat of salt poisoning to your pets. Bath salts often contain magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) and sodium chloride (table salt), both of which can kill or permanently injure furry friends.

Box of Chocolates

  1. Boxed Chocolates

While it can be argued that chocolate is always a good gift, even a diehard sweet tooth is on overload during the holidays. Extra confections lying around the house can be a recipe for disaster. Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause illness or even death in dogs and cats.

  1. Socks

You don’t want them, you hate getting them, and you’ll loathe them even more when you’re forking over upwards of $1,000 to have them removed from your pet’s intestine. Socks take Petplan’s top spot for the worst holiday gift, whether you’re on two legs or four.

Donnarumma concludes, “For the safety of all involved—including your wallet—we suggest sticking to electronic gift cards for holiday giving.”

holidayhazards_infographic

For info about Petplan and more pet safety tips, point your paws to www.gopetplan.com.

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