Follow these simple steps to ensure your pets stay safe and happy this Holiday season…
As the Holiday season quickly builds up steam it becomes an exciting time of year for both people and furry friends alike. This is the time of year to continue traditions, start new ones, and safely involve our pets in all the wonderful activities to come. The safety of our pets is unfortunately often overlooked, putting many of them at risk. Don’t let an accident ruin the festivities! Whether you are a groomer, pet lover, or know someone that will be receiving a puppy or kitten as a holiday gift, being prepared to celebrate the holidays safely with pets is for the better of everyone.
Start off on the right paw
Setting a few helpful rules with guests is a great place to start. Inform guests about whether or not your dog can go in and out of doors and which rooms are off limits. Pet gates are good to have throughout the house. This ensures that even when you can not supervise your pets, you have peace of mind knowing that they are staying in or out of designated areas. Having your pets wear reflective collars and updated Id tags is a great way to make sure they are returned back home safely, if they do accidentally escape while guests come and go.
We all do it…we all see our pets looking at us as we’re eating and feel the need to “sneak” them whatever is currently on our plate or in our hands. Don’t do it! Many foods that we eat are toxic to our dogs. Some include chocolate, coffee grounds, onions, grapes, raisins, tea bags, alcohol, and even sugar-free gum with xylitol. Let guests know that it is NOT ok to “sneak” the pets food. Instead, consider leaving a few treat-filled baskets or containers of your pet’s favorite treats throughout common areas of the house and let guests know that they can give these to your dog instead. Your dog will appreciate it, and guests won’t feel guilty about eating in front of them. Remember though, to put the treats up high on a counter, or atop the fireplace mantle and well out of your pets’ reach.
Toys are another effective way to keep pets entertained. Toys are fun for your pets and your guests will enjoy getting the chance to play along with them. Many toys are designed to be used with treats – combining two fun activities into one. A new toy or an old favorite might be just what you need for keeping your pets amused and distracted during Holiday festivities.
Be sure your pet always has a quiet, peaceful place to go in case things get too hectic for them and provide a comfortable bed and/or a crate so they can rest as needed. For pets that become easily stressed during the holidays there are ways to help them deal with all the commotion. Comfort zone plug-ins with D.A.P for dogs and Feliway for cats, release pheromones into the air to help calm the animals naturally. There are also other pet health products that can be ingested by the animal such as chewable tablets, timed released capsules, or gel pastes that can naturally calm a nervous or overwhelmed pet.
Leave plenty of leashes or kennel leads easily accessible in case your dog or guests need a break from all the excitement. A good walk will help everyone relax. Inform guests of pet-walking rules, and keep in mind not to let your pet eat any foreign objects while walking. Many holiday plants can be poisonous to our pets such as holly, mistletoe, and Christmas lilies and are often easily accessible snacks, er…I mean décor.
Speaking of décor, make sure not to let your pets get hold of ornaments that can shatter as well as tinsel, or garland. All of these could cause internal injury if swallowed or could be choking hazards. Make sure to cover up and hide any electrical cords. Remember to put candles up high. Curious noses can knock them over causing a fire or a wagging tail could get burned. Make sure the fireplace also has a safety screen, so when pets go to snuggle up to keep warm, they do not get harmed.
Pets love to stay warm during the holidays also, so why not help them out with some stylish new pet apparel such as sweaters, polar fleece vests, ski jackets, and boots or socks. If you live somewhere that will be warm for the holidays,bandanas, ribbon, polish and bows are great ways for your pet to be festive this year, or opt for bell collars and holiday santa hats. Don’t forget to get your pet that special gift or fill their stockings with lots of toys, treats, new clothes, and goodies.
Remember, safety is the key for everyone to enjoy the holidays this year, both pets and owners alike.
David & Warren…The Paw Brothers