Holidays is a time of joy and celebration. Each year during the various holiday seasons, thousands of pets are seriously injured and/or become deathly ill or may be lost. It’s a busy time, lots of coming and going and can be stressful for us and with just a little planning can make a big difference for your Pet.
Keep your pets in a secure place when you have people coming and going at your house. I don’t know how many times I have heard of pets running out the front door or back gate was improperly shut. Noise and lots of people in the home can be stressful for your pet. Ask your guests and family members not to leave food around or doors open. Even the best behaved pet may bolt or eat something they shouldn’t if the opportunity arises.
Pet costumes may be cute but they can be dangerous. Buttons, elastic and shiny fabric can be dangerous if ingested or can injure your pet. If you want to dress up your pet, make sure that the costume is not too tight. If you think your pet may ingest parts of the costume, never leave them unattended. A fun idea might be to make your own costume. A bandana can be made with a piece of fabric cut in a square or triangle. You can also look to modify some everyday pet apparel as a costume. If fits better and typically will not have all that shiny material and buttons.
TREATS, TREATS, TREATS. Of course everyone wants to spoil your pet. Ask your guests to not to give your pet anything without your permission, especially cooked bones. Rich foods can result in diarrhea and fatty foods can result in pancreatitis which is never fun. Cooked bones, especially poultry can splinter and can create blockages or tear something. Just keep a stash of your pets favorite treats nearby and let your guests give those to your pets. Another fun thing to do is to get a toy that you can fill with treats and and freeze it. Some good stuffers are bananas, yogurt, sugar free apple sauce. Or you may want to consider having a long lasting treat such as an antler, bully sticks or interactive toy filled with treats to keep them occupied. Remember don’t give them too many treats as your pet may have gas (which we all have experienced the odor emitting from it) or could have loose or runny stool My rule of thumb is that the less processed the better.
Increased fear or nervousness of pets during the holidays. Costumes can be scary for most pets. Face masks and loud noises are sure to make even a docile pet nervous. Although your pet may be good with kids, when kids are over excited them tend to scare pets. Instead of taking Pets trick or treating with your kids, why not take your kids and pets to a pet friendly event. For example Natural Pawz locations will have halloween goodies for all the four legged dressed up this Halloween.
Of course, make sure all candy is out of reach. Firstly, candy is bad, can cause blockages and can be toxic (chocolate). Wrappers can cause internal injuries if swallowed – foil wrappers can be like a razor as it is swallowed and ingested.
Don’t be surprised if your pet children are in the kitchen while holiday goodies are being prepared. Your pet can easily tip pots with drippings (that smell fantastic to them) or you might trip over your pet, causing severe scalding and burns.
Hang your treasured ornaments up high out of reach. Use wooden, metal, resin-cast or the like decorations. Also, replace any metal hooks for hanging decorations with tightly knotted ribbon or twine.
A number of Christmas season plants are poisonous to pets. Some festive plants that can be toxic are; Holly, Ivy, Mistletoe, Poinsettia, Lily, Star of Bethlehem , Christmas cactus, Jerusalem cherry, Hibiscus, Christmas green (e.g. pine, cedar).[ http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants].
Keep in mind possible dangers to your pet when you buy presents. With all the excitement your Pet may chew on items they shouldn’t be chewing on.
Enjoy spending time with your family, friends and make sure to include your pets. By including your pets as part of the festivities, you will be able to minimize possible harzards.
NATURAL PAWZ TIP of the MONTH.
Create your own treats. Find an ice cube tray with a cute shape and fill with unsweetened canned pumpkin and freeze. Pumpkin is an excellent source of minerals and vitamins and also helps pets digestion.
(By Nadine Joli-Coeur, owner of the Houston’s #1 Health food store for pets- Natural Pawz! To find a location closest to you visit Natural Pawz online at www.NaturalPawz.com or click Here)