Safer Holidays for your pets!

Planning for the holiday guests to arrive?

Don't leave your pet's needs out of the agenda. Pet Parenting choices are different for everyone and the last thing you want is guests encouraging negative behaviors, letting your arthritic canine jump for toys, or table scraps making it in to the food dish when your pet is on a special diet. But don't fret, the do's and dont's for your guests do not have to wreak havoc on a fun time. Animal lovers want what is best for the pet, just let them know what that is.

1. Have pet friendly snacks available for guests to properly reward your pet. If your pet is on a diet, just be sure to cut back on their regular food to offset the amount of snacks they receive.

2. Let family know if there are rules they need to follow with regard to Fido. If jumping isn't allowed, just show them how to correct the behavior and communicate why it is a problem. If he has injured himself, or someone else, they will surely want to heed your requests.

3. Even your pets need a safe haven to get away to when the guests get to be too much. Put a bed or crate in a quiet area where they can just go and relax when they are worn out from the festivities.

4. If your pet tends to get stress induced stomach upset, talk to your veterinarian in advance of what you can do at home to help them through any diarrhea or vomiting. Having the appropriate medications and dosages available before hand helps prevent those urgent emergency vet calls if illness strikes.

5. Plan ahead. Don't wait until 2 hours before your pet store or vet's office closes to scramble out to see if they have your pet's food in stock. Like the groceries you need to prepare the holiday meal, plan to pick up your pet's food in advance so there are no last minute changes in your pet's diet that could have been avoided.

6. Don't stress about stepping on toes. Most respectful parents would ask before handing candy to a child so asking your guest to keep to your pet parenting rules is certainly acceptable.

Holiday Hazards

You've heard it before, "table scraps bad, dog food good". But during the holidays, we often let the spirit of the season move us to feed snacks to our pet. It is not so much some of the specific items that you might feed are harmful but the fact if they do not get this type of treat any other time of the year. These sporadic delicacies to your pet are setting them up for an upset stomach. So start with knowing what is reasonably safe to give as a snack and then steer clear of any of the other holiday goodies that your furry friend may be begging for.

1. Turkey

2. Raw carrots- give them a few before you stuff the turkey

3. yams- cooked plain are fine, but none of these molasses dripping, marshmallow coated ones

4. green beans- again, before all of the fat back, bacon and onion straws

Other holiday hazards...?

Trash- don't let your pets get in to the garbage that is full of the onion scraps, potato peels, empty tin cans, and egg shells... If you can't keep an eye on the trash, keep it closed in a closet during all of the cooking.

Glass ornaments- Dogs and cats can knock down low hanging ornaments. Broken glass and chewed up ornaments can cause serious injury to your pet.

Tinsel- any long string-like decorations, including Christmas ribbon can be gobbled up by a curious cat. Ingestion of these can cause life-threatening intestinal blockages.

Extension and/or electrical cords. Keep these tucked away where your pet cannot chew on them. We want happy surprises on Christmas, not harmful shocks.

If your pet gets in to something and you are unsure if it is harmful, call us at 910-256-2624 or call the local veterinary emergency hospital at 910-791-7387

You can also contact ASPCA Pet Poison Control at 1 (888) 426-4435

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After Hours Emergency Phone: (910) 791-7387