PetCare Warns of Risks to Dogs and Cats Over

December 12, 2001

PetCare Pet Insurance Programs, which provides insurance coverage for dogs and cats, in a bulletin issued from its Pleasantville, New York headquarters, warned pet owners of the increased dangers their domestic animals face over the holiday season.

Dogs and cats can “become ill or even die from the most innocent-appearing sources — dinner leftovers, tree tinsel, candy or mistletoe berries,” said the announcement.

Milton Pappas, Director of Financial Services for the Readers Digest, which recently launched a pet insurance program in partnership with PetCare, stated that “Some things we enjoy most about Christmas or Hanukkah pose a serious threat to our pets’ health.”

PetCare offered the following holiday tips to pet owners:

– Do not give table scraps, bones or gravy. Giving your pet extra holiday snacks can lead to pancreatitis, gastroenteritis or gastrointestinal obstructions.

– Never feed chocolate. It’s fun for people, but harmful to pets.

– Watch the Christmas tree. Cats may ingest ribbon or tinsel, and dogs may gnaw or eat larger decorations and ornaments.

– Discard fallen mistletoe. The berries can be the kiss of death.

– Put plants up high. Poinsettias and other ornamental plants may be toxic.

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