A happy and healthy holiday season for your furry loved ones

9 12 2008

The holiday season is a magical time of year, both for us and for our four-legged best friends. Mr. Henry is especially fond of tearing wrapping paper (off of his presents or anyone else’s), as well as the Christmas stocking his grammy prepares for him.

But there are a few important precautions you can take to keep your festivities from taking a tragic turn. Many thanks to Michael’s Pet Sitting of NYC for this wonderful list of holiday pet safety tips:

If you decorate with plants, be careful. Cats, dogs and birds can nibble household plants, and many, including mistletoe and some poinsettias, can make your pet very ill. Be sure your holiday greenery is out of your pet’s reach.

The same is true if you have a Christmas tree. Put only unbreakable, nontoxic decorations at the bottom of the tree so there is no danger of your little ones batting a glass ball and breaking it, or of your pup chewing up your grandmother’s antique bubble lights.

Why not put some kitty baubles or doggie toys on the lower branches instead? Or, if you have both pets and kids, put the tree and gifts into a playpen. It may not stop Kitty, but at least the tree won’t easily fall down if she climbs it.

If you have a live tree, wrap the base so your pets won’t drink from the tree’s water, and keep the birds away from the tree. Many modern live trees are covered in chemicals that can be toxic to your little friends.

It’s also important to be especially careful with candles. Your cat or bird may be enticed by the flicker of the flame, and could singe his whiskers or worse. Place glass “hurricane lanterns” or other attractive covers over candles to protect your home and your pets.

On New Years Eve, plan to keep your pets from becoming frightened by the traditional firecrackers and other noisy merriment. Some dogs respond to fireworks with extreme fear or by trying like hell to escape from the yard. Consider leaving them inside if you go out to celebrate.

Pets often are stressed by the changes in household routine during the holidays, especially if you are feeling stressed yourself. Cats and dogs often respond to stress by becoming hyper, hysterical or destructive, and some may simply retreat.

Why not plan to spend some special time with your pets to calm yourself and reassure them during this hectic time? An extra trip to the dog park or game of tug can do wonders for you both. And if your pet is especially upset by strangers visiting, prepare a refuge where she can go to escape the crowd.

In the chaos of the holiday season, it’s easy to lose track of important safety information. Take the time to look up the nearest 24 hour emergency vet to where you and your pets will be celebrating. Keep the number for the National Animal Poision Control Center handy as well– 1-888-4ANI-HELP or 1-888-426-4435.

Merry Christmas – Happy Hanukkah – Happy New Year!

If you’re in the New York City area and looking for someone to watch over your furry friends this holiday season, please consider Michael’s, (718) 748-9059.

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2 responses

10 12 2008
» Keeping Your Best Friend Safe During The Holidays Dogster for the Love of Dog Blog

[…] Henry gave me a bark about some safety tips to keep in mind over the holiday […]

14 12 2008
Heidi

Very helpful tips, especially regarding the tree water. Thank you for helping to keep our animal friends safe!

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