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Holiday Considerations for Your Pet: Seeing The Holiday Through Your Pet’s Eyes

 

When you see the holiday through your pet’s eyes, the big guy in the red suit may seem kind of frightening. And that’s not all - the home filled with scents of tasty but possibly unhealthy and dangerous foods, the noise of the door opening and closing as guests arrive makes their hearts race, strangers scares them, and ornaments look an awful lot like toys. Plus there’s the tree - which looks like an indoor bathroom to your dog.

The holidays bring cheers, friends, family, and our favorite holiday dishes! If you’re beginning to plan for the upcoming holiday season, keep your pet friends in mind as the excitement approaches. We’re not suggesting you add your cat or dog to Santa’s Good Boys and Good Girls list, but to make sure their holidays are happy, healthy, safe and as stress free as possible.

You don’t need to wind up with the long side of a wishbone to help keep the holiday season safe for your pet. Just consider the world through your pet’s eyes.

The Holiday Through Your Pet’s Eyes: Tips for a Festive and Safe Holiday Season

1. Who Are All These People? Guests, Noise, and a Change in Routine

When we’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner or another holiday event, it’s natural to get a little stressed out, but don’t forget that our pets don’t really understand the occasion. They do know that there’s a lot more hustle, bustle, noise, and strangers - and that you’re stressed and anxious.

To top it off, most pets feel a bit off when their routines change.

To help ease your nervous pet’s anxiety:

  • Use a pheromone spray or diffuser to help keep her calm. Feliway works well for cats and Adaptil for dogs.
  • Create a little holiday sanctuary in a quiet room away from the chaos. Include comfy blankets, calming music, and dim lighting.
  • Board pets that would be better off avoiding the stress.
  • Help your dog or cat get plenty of attention, mental stimulation, and exercise before the festivities begin.
  • Keep your schedule as normal as possible.

2. Turkey, Ham, Cranberries, and Yams! Yum: How to Handle Table Scraps

Very few pets politely decline table scraps. Additionally, those adorable puppy eyes and kitty whiskers combined with the delight of the holidays tend to convince guests that our pets need a nibble of their dinners. As you probably guessed, this isn’t the best.

Politely ask guests to gift your pet with an approved treat or just some extra lovin’. You can even cut down larger treats to help ‘cut back’ on the calories if your pet is on the portly side.

When it comes to table scraps and handouts, it’s best to just say “no.” These tasty treats can cause your pet to get sick, and the last thing you want is to clean up diarrhea, vomit, or rush your pet to the emergency vet.

3. It’s So Much Fun to Explore Guests’ Belongings! Keep Nosy Pets Out of Baggage and Other Belongings

From purses flung over chairs to toiletry bags, it’s best to have a plan for your friends’ and family’s belongings. Medication, dental products, and gum often contain xylitol (or alcohol sugar) which is toxic to pets. Just a small amount of xylitol can send your pet into diabetic shock or coma.

If you can keep purses and coats in a closet, you can keep nosy and curious pets out of trouble. Make sure to remind houseguests to keep their door closed and suitcases out of reach of your pet.

4. Fire, Fire Burning Bright! Flames Aren’t Fun for Pets

Most pets are naturally very curious about the warm glow of candles and fire. During the holidays, we see kitties with scorched noses and puppers with burnt paws.

Keep your pet safe by keeping the fireplace screen up, and make sure to keep an eye on her when your fireplace is lit. If you want to fill your home with the warm glow of candlelight, keep candles on high shelves and extinguish the flame when you leave the room. Non-flame candles make a wonderful alternative.

5. Shiny Décor and More! Don’t Let Your Pet Get Tangled in Tinsel

They’re shiny, fuzzy, and make fun noises! As you hand out the (toxic!) mistletoe, jingle bells, and ornaments, notice how similar they look to toys through the eyes of your pet.

Don’t let your pet get wrapped up in trouble.

  • Avoid edible garland like popcorn strings.
  • Pickup any ornament hangers that you don’t use.
  • Don’t allow your pet to play around the tree, especially unsupervised.
  • Keep toxic plants like mistletoe and poinsettias away from your pets.

Happy Howlidays from Us to You and Your Family!

We hope this holiday season is filled with warmth, love, and relaxation. From turkey to New Years’, peace on Earth for your pets is possible if you see the world through their eyes, plan, and prepare with plenty of time to spare.

Share the gift of good health with your pet and bring her in for an appointment. We can help her manage holiday stress if she suffers from anxiety, and help you determine if your decor is dangerous or even toxic to your pet.

 

 

Image credit: AnatolyTiplyashin / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Fall Pet Safety Prevention that Deserves Your Attention

 

Don’t let your pet “fall” into some of the most common safety hazards we see this time of year. Fall may be the most beautiful season to some, but there are unique risk factors you can prepare for. If you’re anything like most people, you breathe easier this time of year. 

We want to help keep autumn a delight for you and your family with a quick reminder of some pet safety tips.

1. Mushrooms Are a Must-Avoid

As mushrooms pop up all over our backyards and walking trails, it’s important to steer clear of these less-than-fun fungi. Dogs and cats get curious about mushrooms from time to time, but they can get extremely sick or even die if they eat the wrong mushroom. 

Know where mushrooms grow in your backyard and remove them. Don’t let your dog or cat play unattended anywhere near mushrooms and supervise your dog on walks.

2. Keep that Antifreeze Locked Away and Clean Up Any Drips

Antifreeze poisoning or ethylene glycol poisoning happens more than many pet parents realize. And this poison acts quickly. Within 12 hours for cats and 24 hours for dogs, a pet that laps up a little antifreeze can suffer kidney failure.

While dogs are attracted to the sweet scent of this poison, cats often walk through drips and get sick from grooming their paws after. 

So, wipe up even the tiniest spills (a drip the size of a quarter can do irreparable damage to a cat or dog). Keep all antifreeze containers sealed and out of reach of your pet. 

3. Decor Galore! Pet-Friendly Reminder that Decorations Can Be Dangerous

Decorating for fall holidays punctuates the excitement of the season, but many everyday decorations can do damage to your pets. 

Skip the edible decor. Strings of popcorn, corn cobs, and gourds can tempt dogs. And when a dog falls for these temptations, it’s not pretty. From diarrhea to surgery to remove string, it’s easier to just skip the edible decor.

And cats will be cats. Feisty felines will happily knock off glass and ceramic pumpkins, get themselves tangled in a string of lights, and even bite electric cords.

As you add spice to your home decor, keep your pets in mind and aim for safe rather than sorry.

4. Creepy Crawlies

As the mercury drops, we spend more time outdoors: raking leaves, enjoying the fall colors, and enjoying a hot cup of tea on the porch. Letting your dog out to play is great for mental and physical stimulation, just make sure you protect her from creepy crawlies.

Protect Your Pet from Fall Pests By

- Bagging leaves (rodents that carry fleas and ticks love leaf piles)
- Remove debris from near the house. This will help prevent spider bites.
- Keep your screens sealed. Bugs will try to make their way indoors as temperatures drop.
- Keep your dog or cat on flea and tick prevention.

5. Don’t Let Your Pet Catch a Chill

While the cool autumn air feels amazing, dogs and cats can still suffer from hypothermia this time of year. Make sure your dog or cat has access to plenty of water while outside and take breaks on hikes with your pup.

If your dog or cat is enjoying the backyard, be sure to check on them frequently and bring them inside after a while. Even though our pets have coats, they need shelter to help regain their warmth. If your pet is shivering, she’s too cold.

Remember that senior pets and young pets have a tougher time regulating their body temperatures.

6. Opt for Natural Rodent Remedies

Rodenticides can kill your pets. While rats, mice, and bats don’t make the best roommates, the chemicals used to poison them can cause permanent damage or death to your pets.

Try trapping instead of poisoning. And keep those traps far from where your dog or cat will find them.

Happy Fall from Our Practice to You and Your Furry Family

Enjoy the love, memories, and unbeatable adventures that arrive with the autumn breeze with your pets. Keep your pets safe and prevent accidents before they happen. If you need to refill your pets’ flea and tick prevention prescription, give us a call.

We hope your fall is filled with friends, family, and more treats than tricks!

 

Image credit: Pexels / Jb Jorge Barreto

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compassion of each team member.

 
 
 

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