How to Keep Your Pet Safe During the Howlidays
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This is my first howliday season with my family!
The howlidays are a wonderful time of the year. Friends and family gather together to celebrate. The air is full of howliday cheer. There’s food to be prepared(can’t forget the turkey!), decorations to be hung, and presents to wrap. As you prepare for the howlidays, it’s easy to forget about the small things that can be a real danger to your pets. Take the extra step to make your home pet-friendly this howliday season. Here’s how you can help keep your pets safe:
Secure the Tree and It’s Belongings
Make sure your Christmas tree is secured properly so that it doesn’t tip over accidentally. You wouldn’t want it to fall on your pet and cause harm. The Catsters used to be rambunctious when they were younger and would climb the Christmas tree! Since they’ve grown up they really have no interest in it. They just like to play hide and seek under the tree skirt now. And I like to bark at them when they’re laying under the tree. Woof!
Mom and Dad also have to keep the tree ornaments above the lowest level of the tree’s branches because the Catsters think they’re toys. It might also be a good idea to invest in shatter-proof ornaments if you can find them(in case one gets knocked off). Ornaments that could be destroyed easily or have strings and/or frilly things attached to them should be kept near the top of the tree.
If you decorate your Christmas tree with tinsel or garland, make sure you do the same as for the ornaments. Hang it up higher so it’s not seen as a play toy. One chew can lead to one swallow, which can then lead to an emergency trip to the V-E-T.
Presents(oh boy, presents!) accumulate under the tree. Pets like to play under the tree as well. Avoid using string and ribbon during gift wrapping. One of the Catsters(Snickers) is known for chewing on string so it is avoided as much as possible in our house.
Keep Wires Away
Cats love anything that looks like string. Dogs like to chew on stuff. Hide away all your wires, cords, and batteries that could be chewed on or eaten. Electrical wires can deliver a potentially lethal shock and batteries can cause burns in the mouth. Ouch! Don’t let that happen to your pets!
Avoid People Foods
As tempting as it may be to give your pet a nibble of what you’re eating or your leftovers from dinner, don’t do it! No matter how much your pup may give you those irresistible “puppy dog eyes” or your cat’s “Puss-in-Boots face.” Don’t give in. I have perfected that puppy dog look by the way. Get’s Dad every time. Mom gives him “the look.”
Some people foods are fine for pets to eat as a treat, like green beans and carrots. I think green beans are yuck. But for the howlidays, be extra careful. If you didn’t make it or don’t know the ingredients, avoid feeding it to your pet. Definitely avoid those sweets, bones, and fatty foods.
Make sure that any food left out is out of paws reach or securely put away.
Keep Away from Howliday Plants
Mistletoe and holly are dangerous to pets. Keep these away and out of paws reach if you must have them. Otherwise, don’t even think about it! Many varieties of lilies can be harmful to cats, too.
To be safe, you could always use fake plants or flowers for decorating if you really need them. Just make sure that your pet can’t chew or ingest them.
Create a Safe Place
Pets don’t like loud noises, especially fireworks. If you’re planning on having lots of furiends and family over for the howlidays, create a safe place that your pet can easily get to. Sometimes a nice, cozy spot in a bedroom closet or bedroom itself is well enough. Remind your guests to keep the doors and windows shut so that your pet isn’t able to sneak out. Too many pets go missing during the howlidays because of this.
Items such as your pet’s favorite bed, blanket, or toys are nice to help keep them comfortable when put away. Don’t forget to leave them with plenty of fresh water. You can also use items such as a Thundershirt or Feliway to reduce any stress or anxiety your pet may feel.
Thundershirts are great! It’s like your dog or cat is getting a hug the entire time they’re wearing it! I love hugs!
Be sure to keep your pets away from the unhealthy snacks, toxic plants, and dangerous decorations this howliday season!