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It's Your Pet's First Christmas; Don't Make It Its Last
Five safety cautions for pet owners during the holidays and throughout the winter: plants, decorations, frigid weather, holiday guests and holiday treats.
Holiday Plants: Poinsettias, holly, mistletoe and pine trees are among the greens that deck our halls and other rooms during the holidays. While it is debatable whether ingesting these plants can lead to illness and even death in some animals, it is better to error on the preventative side by keeping these away from furry creatures. Digesting pine needles, especially dried ones, can puncture or irritate a puppy or kitten’s intestine. If you think your four legged friend has eaten a Christmas salad of sorts, monitor their reaction and call your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680.
Frigid Weather: If it is cold outdoors for you then it is probably cold for your pet. Limit their outdoor exposure to no more than 10 minutes at a time when temperatures drop below freezing. Avoid using rock salt or salt-based product to melt ice and snow and try something pet friendly such as Safe Paw (safepaw.com)
Holiday Guests: Having family and friends for some holiday cheer is a big part of celebrating the season. The more people you add to the mix the more you put your pet in possible danger. It is best to keep your dog or cat in a safe place when you have guests for a short visit. For longer visits, even if your dog or cats love kids, it is importance to lay out the rules of the house to all guests, this includes what you do and don’t do with the pet. Puppies and kittens are not easy to handle and should not be treated like a new toy. And, don’t get distracted by company chaos and lose track of your pet’s whereabouts. You don’t want to find out that nephew Jimmy let out the puppy three hours ago and its 20 degrees.
Holiday Treats: This goes hand in hand with Holiday Guests, no one should feel they have the liberty to feed your dog or cat anything they want when they visit. By all means buy your pet a doggie or kitty holiday treat but chocolate, candy, cookies and Christmas pie are no treat for them. So when the little ones take down their stocking and pour their riches out on the floor or couch make sure a little chocolate Santa or snowball didn’t roll away.
Enjoy the season with your puppy, kitten, dog and cat and be sure to keep them safe. Far too many of them end up in the animal hospital during this time or don’t make it through the New Year because of simple negligence on the part of their owner. And if a puppy or kitten is on your child’s Christmas list, consider one from your local shelter. This would be a gift that truly captures the spirit of the season.
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Gaia Enterpises of Richboro, PA, manufacturers and markets Safe Paw, the No. 1 pet-safe, no-salt ice melter. Safe Paw is packaged by people with developmental disabilities in York, PA.