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Happy Howl-idays!


Happy Howl-idays!

The holiday season is upon us! A time of joy, love, peace on earth, and CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS AND TREATS!  While the last part here is the best part for humans, it may not be the best part for your pets. Here are some reminders of some tips to help make the holidays less stressful for all, as well as a few ideas for how to help your furry loved one in the event of a holiday mishap.

Tinsel: This is never a good idea if you have pets, especially cats.  Cats are naturally curious, as we all know too well, and love shiny things and strings. Tinsel, however, can impact in Kitty’s  gastrointestinal system and cause serious health issues. It’s best not to take the chance of putting it on the tree. If you do, and you think that  Kitty may have eaten some, watch for any change in eating habits, or for any vomiting or diarhhea.  If you notice any of these, be sure to get them in to see your Veterinarian for an examination. 

Ornaments: Shiny things . . . must have them! Cats and dogs both seem to love the beautiful, shiny ornaments with which we adorn our tree. I have learned over the years, and I strongly suggest, it’s better to be safe than sorry. In that vein, we put only non-breakable items at the bottom of the tree.  As we have large dogs, we start at about the height their wagging tails reach.  This also seems to be perfect for reaching kitties (about 3 foot off the ground or so).  It saves heartaches over lost heirlooms, as well as sadness over a wounded pet due to the broken glass. If Kitty or Fido should break an ornament and get glass in his/her paw, pull out your first aid kit (see our July blog post for suggestions for one of your own), then:

  • *  extract any glass you can see using tweezers (and a magnifying glass as needed), 
  • *  clean the site with water,
  • *  loosely cover with a bandage,
  • *  call the vet if it continues to bleed or cause pain.


Traveling with a pet: Check out our May blog for suggestions!  

Holiday treats: We all know dogs especially love treats.  But we also know, for many dogs, things like chocolate and cookies (especially with certain spices and raisins) can be dangerous. Try to keep cookies out of Fido’s way (says the lady whose 3 large dogs just ate a whole tub of Snickerdoodles. IN MY DEFENSE, they were in a closed cupboard . . .  five feet off the ground).  One idea, too, is that since raisins are so toxic to dogs (only a few can cause liver and kidney damage!), try using currants instead in cookies and treats. Since our emergency here, I keep no raisins in the house! And most people don’t notice the difference.  If they do overindulge, call your veterinarian, explain what happened and let them determine if they should see the pet for an examination or if they have some other recomendations. 

Holiday plants: Fresh holly berries, mistletoe, and poinsettias are lovely decorations and help set a festive mood. But, as many know, they are a hazard for both cats and dogs (and small children!). The best suggestion is not to use them in your decorations, but should you receive one as a gift or in a flower arrangement, be sure to put them where your loved ones can’t reach.  While it has lately been proven that poinsettias are not as toxic to pets as once believed, they can still cause stomach upset or diarrhea. Best to steer clear or take precautions.  

Tree lights:  I love pre-lit trees, but we learned our lesson when our Flat-Coat Retreiver mix was a puppy! It appears pets ALSO love cords (hmm, big surprise). When Allie chewed through our tree cord, thankfully she was not hurt (the lights were off). But, I took preventive measures. My solution? For the unpredictable chewer in the house: on the lower branches, where your pet can reach, I suggest a little Tabasco sauce. Put it on your hand, pinch the light cord between your fingers and palm, and slide along each section of wire between the lights. It saved our doggy from certain doom!  Tabasco’s smell is usually deterrent enough, but the taste will surely get them and with no prolonged damage. For the ones who are intrigued by the cord running from tree to wall, slit an empty wrapping paper roll lengthwise. Trim it to size to fit the length you need, then slip it over any visible wiring from tree to wall. Typically, they soon lose interest so you can remove the tube before your fussy mother-in-law arrives.  

~ Wishing you and your pets a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Your friends at Crunchkins

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