14 January 2009

Holiday Pet Tips

Holidays can be fun to share with pets, but they are also full of stress, temptation and danger. Follow these tips to keep your holidays full of cheer.

Bows are for presents
A holiday bow around a pet's neck can strangle an animal that catches a paw on it. A much better solution is a snap away collar with a festive seasonal design.

Tails and Treasures.
Place fragile and chewable decorations well out of reach. Your treasured holiday displays can be trash with one sweep of an enthusiastic tail.

Indoor Plumbing and Watering Hole
Live trees are a beautiful sight to behold for your territorial dogs. Many male dogs will find your beautiful tree an excellent alternative to relieving themselves outdoors. Both cats and dogs may find the tree water tempting, make sure to use pet friendly preservatives in the tree's water.

The Tree of Temptation
Cats love to pounce on trees. Make yours less interesting by tying it with a clear fishing line to a nearby window. Hang your most valuable and/or breakable ornaments near the top, securely fastened with hooks and further anchored with twist ties or floral wire. The bottom can then be adorned with felt ornaments and candy canes to entertain your cat.

Tinsel Trauma
Avoid using tinsel. Instead use a vinyl garland and specialty lights. They brighten the tree and you won't have to worry about your cat eating them and having digestive problems or choking.

Taper Trouble
If candles are part of your holiday celebration, consider using a holder with a glass that covers the flame. These are preferred because they are less likely to singe the fur. Never leave candles unattended with pets in the room to protect them and your home. With a menorah, place it high on a mantel or on a specially built shelf.

Pet Toys
Be sure your pets have plenty of toys so they are not tempted to play with holiday decorations.

Leftovers and Cookies should be stored or disposed of
Your pet's digestive system can't handle all the goodies, and besides making them sick, it could make a mess of your home. Give them healthy, nutritious canine and feline treats that are appropriate for them.

Plants like poinsettias, holly, amaryllis and mistletoe should be kept out of reach of all your pets. These plants can be harmful, and owners should call a veterinarian immediately if a pet ingests them.

Keep chocolate away from your dogs and cats. Chocolate contains theobromine which can be harmful and sometimes fatal.

Clean salt from streets and sidewalks out of paws. It can be really irritating and drying to the pads.

Change outside water and food dishes to ceramic or plastic.
When the temperature drops, pick up your metal bowls. Pet's tongues can freeze to these. If you have outdoor water bowls, check them often and break out the ice. Frozen water does your animals no good.

Stick with your routine.
Keep dogs on their normal feeding and walking routine during holiday festivities. If company makes a dog nervous, tuck its crate in an out-of-the-way area like your bedroom to provide a sense of security.

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