Monday, December 20, 2010
Tips To Keep Your Pet Safe This Holiday Season!
Deck the halls with tape and cord covers, fa-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la.
Holiday lights mean extra electrical cords and plugs. For pets, these items can present quite tempting “chew toys.” Taking an extra minute or two during decorating to tape down or cover cords will help prevent shocks, burns or more serious injuries.
Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how anchored are your branches?
Christmas trees are sure to attract a pet’s attention. Secure Christmas trees to keep them from toppling over if a pet should try to climb them, use them as a scratching post or simply bump into them. Anchoring the top of the tree to the ceiling with a strong cord will help keep it in place around frolicking pets. Keep tinsel decorations high on the tree. Cats are inclined to eat tinsel and/or ribbons hanging from trees, which have the potential to cause an intestinal obstruction.
Bells are ringing, children singing… pets need a quiet place to retreat.
During holiday parties, pets may not understand why their usually quiet home is filled with people and noise. Provide pets with a quiet place to retreat. This way, they can choose whether to come out and visit or keep to themselves.
All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Canines. A special treat in their stocking helps pets enjoy the holidays and keep their teeth pearly white: when it’s chew products specifically designed to satisfy a pet’s natural inclination to chew, that is. Including the right chew products in a pet’s dental care program is an important part of keeping a dog’s teeth and gums healthy, along with regular checkups with a veterinarian. Chews, such as bones, rawhides and compressed vegetable treats, are an easy choice for pet parents who want to improve their dog’s oral hygiene – or who just want to freshen their pet’s breath.
I’ll be home for Christmas… if I have an ID.
Keep an eye on pets when doors are opening and closing frequently. And all pets should wear ID tags because they can slip out easily in all of the commotion.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire… aren’t good for pets.
Pet parents often think they’re “treating” their pets with table scraps from their holiday meals. The danger, say PetSmart veterinarians, is that dogs do not have the same digestive system or nutritional needs as people. Products like holiday rawhide are made especially for pets and make a safe, appropriate holiday treat. Chocolate contains the heart stimulant theobromine, and in small quantities can be toxic to dogs and cats, causing vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures, rapid and irregular heartbeats, muscle tremors, comas and, in large quantities, even death.
Oh by gosh, by golly, don’t let them eat mistletoe and holly.
Mistletoe, holly berries and poinsettia plants can be poisonous to pets, causing severe upset stomachs. Pine needles can irritate a pet’s intestine and cause an emergency visit to the vet. Consider using repellent sprays or a doggie gate to help keep pets away from areas and objects that may be harmful.
Oh, the weather outside is frightful. With a sweater on, I’m just delightful.
For the most part, pets should stay warm and indoors during the cold winter months. Some dogs may not adjust as well to the cold weather, so pet parents may consider sweaters to keep their pets comfortable. Pet parents can also ask their vet for good ideas on “winterizing” pets.
Rockin’ around the Christmas tree, separate gifts for you and gifts for me.
Pets don’t know which gifts are meant for them, and which are meant for their parents. Gifts for pets, and any gifts that could be food, should be stored safely away from curious paws and noses.
Over the river and through the woods… for families and pets on the go.
Pet parents boarding pets during the holiday travel season should look for facilities that are clean, and have a friendly staff and strict policies on health and safety issues. Visit the facility ahead of time, meet the staff, check the cleanliness, and confirm that the facility has 24-hour supervision and an on-call vet.
For pet parents traveling with their pets, research can be done in advance to find hotels that accept pets. AAA offers a travel guidebook with this information.