If your holiday shopping list includes pets, it’s important to do your research before stocking up on stocking stuffers. Some of the pet retail industry’s standard products can be dangerous for our four-legged friends. The most notable culprit is arguably rawhide chew treats. Rawhide chews and toys have a tendency to shread, causing dangerous blockages to form in the stomach and intestines. Pig ears are also a cause for concern, as they can harbor bacteria that has been linked to recurring urinary tract infections. Chew toys made from animal products that are imported from China should be avoided at all costs.
Remember to consider the temperament of any pet on your shopping list. A cat who is easily frightened may not appreciate a mechanical mouse. A dog with a high prey drive may become overly excited by a squeak toy that mimics the sound of dying prey. Worse yet, yet they may swallow the squeaker, or ingest the stuffing in an attempt to “kill” the toy. Be sure any treats or goodies are free of any known food allergens as well. Few things ruin holiday cheer faster than than an unexpected trip to the emergency clinic.