by Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com
It’s begging to look a lot like…bored dogs, scratchy cats and wheel spinning hampsters! Oops I meant Christmas…or the Holidays if you will. Here at LIPetPlace we are always looking for ways to keep our pets safe, happy and well cared for during the holidays, but know with the overwhelmingly busy time of year many pet owners tend to let things slide. I get it, but for safety sake for your pet, (and your wallet), there are few simple things you can do to ensure you dog, cat, ferret, hampster, parrot or bunny stay happy, healthy and out of the Vets office!
This is after all the busiest time of year that veterinarians see pet emergencies, Sparky could have ingested a holiday decoration, or Buster isn’t feeling well because too many family members gave him things he should not be eating.
Here are some tips to keep your pet out of the vet’s office and have a safe and happy holiday too!
- Pet Proof your house, Dr. Michel A. Selmer of Advanced Animal Care Center said this, “Puppies, in particular, may behave like young children, acting excited and inquisitive around lights, ornaments, candles, trees, unfamiliar foods, an influx of new people, and even a visiting pet. Especially during the holidays you must ‘pet proof’ various areas of your house. Pets must be taught off-limits, such as nibbling of ornaments on the lower branches of trees, or sampling the foods on the coffee table.”
- Instruct your guests and family members not to feed your pet as he could get really sick. This usually does the trick with people falling for puppy dog eye expressions, but really emphasize this with your guests. “Rich food and too much of it can spell gastrointestinal distress for your pet,” said Dr. Selmer, and then you end up at your vet’s office with an unexpected expense and stress worrying about your pet!
- Be mindful when you are opening presents and if your pet is getting into any of the wrapping. “When presents are opened, be aware of what you do with the ribbon, which presents a chocking danger. Mistletoe (Phoradendron species) is extremely toxic if eaten, while Poinsettia is mildly toxic. Tinsel can get caught up in the intestine and cause obstructions,” stated Dr. Selmer.
- Have a safe haven for your pet to retreat to. Whether it is their crate or their bed in a quiet room away from guests and crowds. A Kong stuffed with peanut butter (then frozen) also will help keep him busy while away from the crowd, but check on them often to make sure they are ok.
- Watch your pets behavior, if they seem different or stressed out around the holiday crowds, bring them to their safe haven – never ever as a punishment, but as a place to retreat.
- Christmas Tree as play toys! This picture says it all if you have a cat (I have was always fortunate, our cat just liked to go under the tree and hang out), but if you have a mischievous kitty who likes to climb in the tree, think about this before hanging family heirlooms, glass ornaments or sharp objects the cat could hurt himself on while scaling your Christmas tree.
- A tired dog is a good dog, exercise your dog on a long walk before the crowd comes over! I have said this before and I will say it again! This is one of the best things you can do, if you have to get up earlier or walk longer to have a happy, tired dog the day your guests are there, everyone including your pup will thank you!
Most of all enjoy your holidays, don’t forget about your pets needs too and maybe make a donation of a pet toy to your local animal shelter!
Happy Howlidays from Max!!