Can you believe it? It’s Thanksgiving time. Again. Let’s give thanks to our pets for all the love and joy they bring to our everyday lives..… but let’s also keep our furry friends safe this holiday season! Thanksgiving is a popular time for family gatherings. This may also bring about incidents that we were not expecting. Our fur babies get ill from eating something they shouldn’t have, escape, or become stressed. Keep these pet safety tips in mind to ensure a happy, healthy holiday for ALL your family members! Will you be in the kitchen busy cooking and preparing? Bustling around town to visit family and friends? You need to be careful too! Working in the kitchen with your pets underfoot can be dangerous! You don’t want kitty to jump on your counter and lick the turkey gravy or step on a hot pan! Start your morning off by taking Charlie to a dog park or walking a few miles. This will be invigorating to both you and your energetic pal. A tired pet is a good pet! Set your furry companion up to succeed by providing plenty of physical and mental stimulation before your guests arrive, to prevent unwanted behaviors.
During mealtime, keep pets busy somewhere else! Give your dog a frozen Kong, or your kitty an interactive puzzle game filled with salmon snacks, in a completely different room. This will prevent your pets from having access to fallen food (which could be dangerous, even toxic), or defiant relatives who insist on slipping your pet some table scraps. These are the family culprits to keep an eye on. Consider keeping your pets out of the kitchen and dining areas completely, to prevent counter surfing, garbage raiding, and floor scavenging. If you know that your pet will easily stress out,talk to your veterinarian about possible tranquilizers or calming remedies. Watch the front door! Many pets can accidentally escape during busy holiday times when people are in and out of doors.Keep your pet safe by putting up gates, and keeping them away from commonly used doorways. Consider putting up a sign on the outside and inside of your main entrance, to warn guests to be aware of pets by the door. If you are having guests over, it would be wise to talk to them about not feeding your pets, being careful where they put their wine glass and watch where they are stepping. Getting tails and feet stepped on is painful!
We may violate our diets and good senses, but don’t subject your pets to the dangers of overfeeding. There are certain holiday foods that are toxic to our pets. Stuffing, turkey bones, ham, nuts, raisins, grapes are just some food that are harmful to our pets. (LINK) Be sure to caution all guests, both kids and adults, not to give your pets anything except their normal food and treats. Non-pet owners are often unaware of the dangers of offering food from their plate to your begging pets.Keep all candy and baked goods out of reach of hungry pets and make sure your cat or dog isn’t left unsupervised in the kitchen. Again, when removing string from ham or other packaged meats, place it in a plastic bag and dispose of it outside immediately. Some pets find packaging quite tasty and will chew and swallow it. Never give your pets alcoholic beverages, chocolate, or people food of any kind. With tasty morsels everywhere, even the best-behaved pet may be tempted to steal food from the kitchen counter or rummage through the garbage. So keep food pushed toward the back of counters. Incredibly, dogs have been known to pull whole turkeys off of counters and tables!
Don’t just expect that your pets, which may not be used to increased traffic in the house, will take this added stress in stride. Take precautions to create a safe haven to which they can retreat. Provide a quiet room where your cat or dog can escape the holiday activities and guests. Make sure to include their food, water, and favorite scratching post or bed. Put on the TV or soft soothing music. It’s also a great time to make sure that all pets have collars with current ID tags and information.
While pumpkin pie is the most famous Thanksgiving dessert, many people offer a variety of pies at Thanksgiving, including chocolate pie. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats, yet dogs love the smell and taste of it. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. Keep chocolate pie and all chocolate desserts out of the reach of pets to prevent an emergency trip to the veterinarian.If your pets ingest any of these foods this Thanksgiving, be sure to call your veterinarian immediately. Early action may prevent more costly and serious complications from developing. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving from Pacific Animal Hospital!
For our pets, the holidays are a time of excitement, new smells, strange house guests, and holiday decorations. As we all know, there is always a lot of food during the holiday season and a new fresh tree in your beautiful home. We all have heard stories about pets eating something they shouldn’t have or stories about the kitty and the Christmas tree. Most of the time, these mishaps result in funny anecdotes that we recount fondly with our families. However, sometimes they can have serious consequences.
The following foods are dangerous to pets that eat them:
- Fatty Foods
- Alcohol – careful where you place your glass!
- Onions & Garlic
- Bread and cookie dough
Make sure these foods are out of reach, especially if your pet is a notorious counter-jumper.
Ask your guests to avoid feeding any food to your pets without checking with you first. Sure,
your pets will give them the “help me I am starving” look, but please tell your guests right away
what is off limits for your furry ones!
Dangers of Holiday Decorations for Pets:
Tinsel & Ribbon: Cats tongues are covered with little hook like structures and can hold on to the tinsel or ribbons making ingestion and obstruction a common holiday occurrence.
Plants: Poinsettias, Holly and Mistletoe: There are many beautiful artificial silk plants if you want to be festive. These popular holiday plants are poisonous to cats and dogs.
Sharp objects, toys, decorations: Keep an eye on your decorations. Pets are curious and will mistake your decorative elf with bells and buttons for their fleece toy.
Dressing up your pet: We all love to dress up our pets! Santa hats, elf vests, reindeer ears and the list goes on. Keep a close eye on their new clothing attire. They can easily start chewing or ripping up their new clothes and possibly ingest it. If you notice that your pet doesn’t like to wear the item, be safe and take it off. Instead, take a quick selfie picture with your pet and new holiday wear. As they say, a picture lasts a lifetime.
A house full of family, friends and excited children can be overwhelming for anyone, but
especially for pets. Create a safe place for your pet that is off limits to visitors so they can
escape when they need the space. Also, never force your pet to socialize when they are already
stressed out and fearful.
Wishing you a safe and fun filled holiday season for you and your pet!
The time has finally come again for trick or treats, fabulous costumes, and a host of holiday decorating. As we start to gear up and decorate around the hospital and our homes, we wanted to share with you some easy tips to help your pet have an enjoyable October and Halloween. Read on for five easy tips to help keep your pet healthy and happy!
Decorate with your pets in mind
We recently saw on Apartment Therapya couple fabulous ideas for pet-themed holiday decorating. Our favorite being these pet silhouette no-carve pumpkins! All you need is a side shot of your pet’s face, a great pumpkin, and a sharpie.
Choose faux candlesIf you are planning to carve pumpkins or just have candles around the house, choose battery-powdered candles. This way if a candle or pumpkin gets knocked over you won’t have to worry about a fire starting.
Tasty treats for you, not for them!
We all love a snickers and M&M’s, but they are dangerous for your pets. Keep all human treats out of their paw’s reach, and save yourself from an emergency trip to the vet.
Blow up and pop up displays
If you are going all out this year with yard decorations, be sure that your pets are not intimidated by their giant size or surprising movements. For some pets, changes to their living area or yard can cause anxiety and fear. If you find your pet barking at blowup displays or shying away from the plastic ghouls in your yard, consider taking them down or keeping your pets separate from any decorations that scare them.
Get your pets chipped and tagged
Halloween and the holiday season both involve a lot of door opening, and every time your pet has access to the outside world they stand the chance of getting lost or running away. If you haven’t already, see your veterinarian to have your pets microchipped. On the way home, stop at the pet store and get a tag made for their collars. We encourage both cat and dog families to chip and tag their pets. If your pet is lost, the shelter or veterinary they are brought to will be able to look them up with the chip number or collar tag.