(PRWEB) February 26, 2005
Pet precautions should be taken during the spring celebrations like Easter according to animal behaviorist, Diana L. Guerrero. ÂPets, like kids, love to get into forbidden goodies. Unfortunately, raiding pets getting into the chocolate supply can face needless sufferingÂor death,Â she said.
According to Guerrero, each spring animal clinics and veterinary hospitals see an increase in visits during the springtime holidays. Easter poses the greatest hazards to critters living with chocolate lovers.
ÂChocolate is toxic to animals and can be fatal because it contains a caffeine derivative (theobromine) and pets cannot fully metabolize chocolate. If enough is ingested it can create complications or kill an animal.Â Guerrero said.
Symptoms from chocolate ingestion include hyperactivity, tremors, racing heartbeat, and seizures. Damage to the liver can also occur and is not so obvious. Guerrero also said, ÂIt is risky to leave boxes of candy out anywhere in the house. As little as four ounces is enough to kill a ten pound dog or cat.Â
Some flowers and plants can be toxic and Guerrero encourages pet owners to check with their veterinarians for a complete list for dogs, cats, or birds. Be sure to keep baskets and gifts of flowers and potted plants out of reach of your critters.
ÂAnimals love to explore with their mouths and make playthings out of everything so expect the worst and keep those lovely gifts and treats out of reach.Â Guerrero suggests. ÂOther hazards can include alcoholic beverages and wrapping items. Cellophane, ribbons, balloons, and other festive wrappings or decorations can be ingested and cause complications or death. Alcohol, often left out in glasses during celebrations, is another toxic item for pets and should not be given to any critter.Â
During Easter and May Day celebrations make sure you have special chew treats to occupy pets during egg hunts and other related activities. Also take care to note where all those tidbits are hidden so that the pets donÂt find them at a later date and get sick.
Guerrero said, ÂIn the past, holiday promotions included giving live chicks, ducks and bunnies. Thousands of these animals died from lack of proper care and stress. Giving a live pet during any holiday is inhumane.Â
Guerrero stressed that better efforts teach children about responsible pet ownership or about being animal caretakers. More appropriate efforts included the gift of a stuffed animal and an adoption certificate, or an Easter basket with novelty items.
She said, ÂMany zoos, farms, and shelters allow you to sponsor the care of an animal. These efforts help creatures of all types and teach responsible stewardship. You can also sponsor wildlife habitat. Certificates or books for animal lovers can be included in your baskets Â
Guerrero is the author of one such book. "What Animals Can Teach Us about Spirituality: Inspiring Lessons of Wild and Tame Creatures" (SkyLight Paths Publishing) is being included in local baskets for animal lovers and spiritual seekers. The text contains stories of wild and domestic animal behavior and analogies of how animals spark personal and spiritual growth for humans.
If you still insist on giving a live critter, remember that Easter babies require special care, feeding and temperatures. Ducks and chicks can carry salmonella and are not ideal pets since children can break their bones or cause other injuries by accident, other pets may maim or kill them, and they are not as amiable to attention. Guerrero lamented, ÂMost Easter pets die in a few days or end up at animal service agencies where they are destroyed because they cannot be placed.Â
Bunnies are cute when young but can live long lives. Unless trained, many rabbits do not like being confined and cuddled. They can bite or inflict pain to youngster by struggling and kicking with their hind legs. Rabbits can also be destructive and messy. These lagomorphs are at risk from dogs and cats, and many kids exhibit allergies to these animals.
Guerrero suggests sharing the holidays with your humane pals and existing pets. ÂProvide appropriate chew treats and toys to occupy your pets during your celebrations and spend time with the pets, too. You can also take a fun trip to a petting zoo or childrenÂs zoo and accomplish close contact without the challenges.Â Guerrero tips for animal behavior problems, other animal topics, and her book can be found at http://www.arkanimals.com.
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