[November 18, 2013; Philadelphia, PA] – Dr. Kenneth Drobatz, Chief of the Emergency Service at Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital, offers the following tips to keep pets healthy and out of the emergency room this Thanksgiving:

Festive foods

Maintain your pet’s regular diet. Treats of turkey, ham, gravy, cookies, and other goodies can lead to gastrointestinal upsets like diarrhea and vomiting.

Penn Vet, Thanksgiving pet tipsDispose of all bones carefully so that pets cannot get to them. Poultry bones are particularly dangerous, as they can splinter and cut the intestines or get lodged in your pet’s esophagus.

Guilty pleasures for humans, like chocolate and alcohol, can be toxic to pets. Keep chocolate, nuts, and alcoholic beverages out-of-reach from your pets, as they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or a condition called pancreatitis, which can be deadly. Grapes and raisins can be toxic to pets, as well.

Be sure that everyone in your family knows and understands what your pets can and cannot consume.

In case of an emergency

As with any potential emergency, immediate attention from your veterinarian is imperative. Penn Vet’s Emergency Service is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The Emergency Service is staffed by an integrated team of board-certified specialists who attend to each patient’s emergency and critical care needs. Call 215-746-8911 or visit Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital at 3900 Spruce Street.

About Penn Vet

Penn Vet is a global leader in veterinary medicine education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the only veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health Initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.

Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, seeing nearly 33,000 patients a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals, treating 33,000 patients each year – 4,100 in the hospital and 29,000 at farms through the Field Service. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.

For more information, visit www.vet.upenn.edu.