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Keep your Pets Safe this Holiday Season

Keep your Pets Safe this Holiday Season

The holidays are a wonderful time of year for many reasons. Many of us pet lovers like to include our pets in our holiday plans as well. While this is certainly okay to do, be sure you know about the additional risks to your pet’s safety that are often present at this time of year.
Foods Not for Fido

In many American households, the holidays are overflowing with food. Often, they may also be overflowing with relatives who, with best intentions, want to share their food with your cat or dog. The vast majority of holiday foods are not appropriate for pets to eat, and many can actually be deadly. Be sure that you set ground rules with any visitors about checking with you before they feed your pet. Keep foods in closed containers out of reach of your pet whenever possible, and during the hours when a full holiday spread is out for everyone to enjoy, consider putting your pet away in a room or a crate to keep them safe and make sure no food gets stolen.

Holiday sweets are unhealthy for your pet at best, and if they contain the sweetener xylitol or a dose of chocolate, they could be fatal if ingested. Many spices and nuts are also potentially dangerous to animals, and even turkey and turkey skin have been known to cause pancreatitis in dogs and cats when ingested. Cooked bones can also splinter and damage a dog or cat’s digestive tract. The best rule of thumb if you want to provide treats to your pets at this time of year is to buy them some appropriate dog or cat treats made just for them. We have plenty here at the store if you need recommendations!

Decorate Sensibly

If you have a Christmas tree there are numerous considerations to take into account. Cats in particular, but also dogs, can knock over trees, so be sure that you either keep your tree in a room that your pets can’t access, or secure your tree to the wall or ceiling in some way to prevent accidents that might harm your pet or someone else. Don’t use additives in your tree’s water which can be dangerous if your pet drinks them.

Be aware that many popular decorations such as salt dough ornaments (which are toxic) and other “food” decorations such as strung popcorn or cranberries can entice your pet to climb your tree looking for a snack. Tinsel can be very dangerous and require surgery to remove from the digestive tract if ingested. Its best to avoid loose tinsel if your pet will have access to the tree area. Ornaments that are breakable and the hooks they hang from can also pose a danger. And lights create both electric shock risk and burn risks.

They best thing to do is to keep your tree trimmings high and out of reach of pets, keep pets out of the room, or gate them away from the tree. We have numerous pens and gates if you need some added barriers this holiday season.

Also be aware that many popular holiday plants such as holly, mistletoe, lilies, and poinsettias are all toxic to dogs and cats and should be kept out of reach if you have them in your home. If you use candles, never ever leave them unattended as a pet may knock them over or burn themselves.

If you decorate strategically your home can be beautiful and you can keep your pets safe as well.

Safe Holiday Travel

Many of us travel for the holidays and bring our pets along with us. When traveling be sure you know what the environment will be like where you are going. Bring crates, gates and pens if needed to help facilitate keeping your pet safe in someone else’s home.

If you are driving with your pet they should be safely restrained in the car in a carrier, crate, or a car harness. Be sure to pack them food and water and a bowl to provide them in if it will be a long trip. If you are flying with your pet be sure to contact the airline about all of their requirements for carriers, health screenings, etc. well in advance of your travel in case you need a trip to the vet or some additional supplies.

Any time you will be away from home with your pet it’s a good idea to keep a basic health record with you which includes a listing of all of their vaccines. Make sure that you know where the nearest 24-hour emergency vet hospital is to your destination in case anything goes awry while you are away.

Your pet should be microchipped and wear a tag with your contact information whenever you travel with them to speed their recovery in the event that they get lost. Be particularly careful of them rushing doors in an unfamiliar place (or even at home) if there will be many people coming and going. Its easy for pets to slip outside in the commotions of greetings and departures at holiday functions.

We make tags here at the store and carry a wide variety of items to make travel with your pet safe and easy.

Here at Pet World we want to wish all of you and your best a safe and happy holiday season and we look forward to a wonderful New Year!

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