This holiday, give thanks for safe pets

The holidays are upon us, and you are likely thinking about Thanksgiving. During the next week, remember your pets and keep them safe. With visitors, rich foods and decorations, pets ? all pets ? can become easily overwhelmed and sick.

Read below about Thanksgiving pet dangers.

First, consider foods
   Unless you are eating out or taking a simple dish to share with friends and family, you have lots of dangerous foods that cats and dogs might ingest.

* Turkey and ham are high in fat and cholesterol. A mere taste can wreak havoc on your pet’s digestive system. Pets with pancreatitis are especially vulnerable to fatty or spicy foods.

* Sugar should be withheld from your pets to avoid stomach upset.

* Xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in candies, gum, and many baked goods are deadly to most pets.

* Indulgences such as chocolate, alcohol, and candy should be kept away from pets. Keep these treats up high or in cabinets, as necessary. Birds should not celebrate with any of these holiday treats, either.

* Guard or remove the garbage can and after eating. Push plates away from the counter or table edges that pets can access.

Plan for visitors
All pets, from dogs and cats to birds and pocket pets can be upset by visitors and loud noises. If your pets will be among the crowd and noise, check with your veterinarian to see what is best to calm your pet(s). Some might need calming medication or pheremones.

Perhaps some pets prefer to stay in a quiet part of the house with food, water and toys. If your pets suffer from separation anxiety, plan accordingly.  Leaving an article of clothing such as the shirt you wore yesterday can calm anxious pets. Give your dogs potty breaks and walks or playtime. Be sure your kitties have clean litter.

Children can overwhelm or play too rough with pets, so be watchful or assign someone to watch over pets and children when they play together.

As always, use care in opening and closing doors. Cats and dogs especially like to scoot out of doors. Bird out of the cage can fly out. (It has happened!) Be sure all of your pets have tags. Dogs, cats and birds can be microchipped. Be sure the contact information is accurate and up-to-date. Ask your veterinarian about microchipping other pets.

Decorations attract pets
Keep decorations high and plan for what pets can get into.

Candles are interesting because they flicker and smell. Keep furry and feathered pets from open heat sources. Flames can burn fur, feathers, ears, paws, and any other parts that come into contact with the fire. Candle scents and smoke can also cause allergies, so be attentive to physical or behavioral changes.

If wreaths and other hanging decorations fall, they can shower the floor with dangerous pieces harmful to paws. Secure decorations.

As you decorate, take time to set up slowly, and consistently teach your pets to “leave it”. You can also practice “stay” or “place” with dogs. If you start decorating for Christmas this weekend, leave the bare tree up for hours or a day so the cat can learn to avoid the tree and your hard work isn’t wasted. Cats climb trees, and some learn quickly while others take a tree down every year. Plan ahead to avoid frustration.

Parrots can enjoy a cranberry or two, as long as the feathered companions won’t demolish your decorative cranberry wreath. Dried cranberries are a part of many bird foods and mixes. Seasonal fruits such as apples and cherries are safe, but the pits are toxic to birds.

Keep pets warm and comfortable
Of course, never leave your pets outside in the cold or rain. Be sure they have healthy food and fresh, clean water. If you have freezing temperatures, provide fresh water a couple of times each day helps to ensure the pet’s water isn’t frozen.

Holidays are a time of celebrating, decorating and enjoying yummy foods. Heed these Thanksgiving pet safety tips to take care of your pets. Love your pets well, and give them each a special treat to celebrate their good behavior.

At Fluffs of Luv, your pet’s care and comfort is our primary concern. From now through the new year is hectic. Call us or visit today to schedule visits now and for holidays. If you will be gone shopping or celebrating for extended periods, we can schedule additional visits!

By Beth Crosby

Thanksgiving pet dangers
Thanksgiving pet safety