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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : features : pet corner November 24, 2015

12/3/2009 5:18:00 PM
Protect your pets this holiday season
The Verde Valley Humane Society “Pet of the Week” is going to be Rowdy.
The Verde Valley Humane Society “Pet of the Week” is going to be Rowdy.

Sandra Trautman
Verde Valley Humane Society

As I write the Pet Corner today all I can think about is how close the holidays are and how everyone needs to be especially careful with their pets.

It’s especially important to make sure your animals have their ID and collars on this time of year. It would be so easy for them to slip out unnoticed in all of the confusion.

Not only is the normal routine of our homes disrupted, but you have added new things to your home.

Can you imagine what your best canine friend thinks when he sees a tree placed right inside the house?

“Oh look, I don’t even have to go outside in this cold weather to take my potty breaks, plus new territory to mark. My humans have made my life so much easier.”

As for our feline friends, they probably look at the tree as a great inside jungle gym. It’s always fun trying to make our “best friends” understand that the Christmas tree is put in the house for our enjoyment, not theirs.

Remember if you use a live tree, the water in the base can be stagnant or toxic and breed disease.

Your “best friend” may also think that you have placed a water dish there so they don’t even have to leave this new playground.

The very components that make the season so special for humans such as enticing smells and tastes, festive decorations, and the bustling activity can spell trouble, or at least discomfort for your pets.

Do you weaken in respect to your “best friends” diet during the holidays? I have to admit that I do. How can I possibly enjoy those terrific meals without sharing a little here and there?

According to the ASPCA, “greasy, spicy and fatty foods can cause stomach upset and moldy foods could cause tremors or seizures.”

Even though our intentions are most honorable, we could be doing more harm than anything else.

My mouth waters as I think about good old fashioned chocolate fudge, my favorite. It’s very important to remember not to ever share chocolate with your pets.

Chocolate contains the chemical theobromine and just four to five ounces can cause severe reactions including seizures, hyperactivity.

No emergency vet visits are wanted during any season, especially true during the holiday.

The best way to keep your animal safe is to keep them totally away from food preparation areas.

In addition to the chocolate, coffee can be toxic to animals. Also remember that poultry bones can splinter and cause intestinal blockage.

Here are some other holiday safety tips. At times we forget that even the smallest thing can hurt our animals. What can it hurt if they help us wrap presents? Plenty just read on.

1. Poinsettias, holly berries, mistletoe and the holiday tree make inappropriate snacks. Toxicity may vary but vomiting and diarrhea are both likely.

2. Ribbon, yarn, tinsel and garland can be swallowed and cause serious intestinal problems requiring surgery. The animal’s digestive system is not designed for these foreign ‘goodies’ (unless you have a goat!)

3. Put candles where pets can’t get to them. The flame is fascinating but can result in some serious burns or knock the candles over and start a house fire. I use hurricane globes to surround my candles and NEVER leave them unattended.

4To your animals’ eyes, the holiday tree can be a fresh-smelling, extra-challenging treat. Ornaments can break and shards of glass can be ingested. HIDE THE WIRING. Cats and puppies are known to love to chew on exposed electrical wiring. If their little sharp teeth break through the protective coating, the animal can be electrocuted, or at least badly burned. An exposed wire could spark and start a fire.

5. Be aware that disrupting a cat’s living quarters may result in spraying or refusal to use the litter box. Try not to move his personal items.

6. Provide a safe room where your animals can escape the festivities. All the extra company can be very confusing to them.

7. Watch visiting children. If your own animal is not accustomed to children, the animal could become aggressive. Let your animal retire to a safe haven.

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