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Holiday Pet Safety

Holidays are a time when families come together to celebrate and pets are usually included in the festivities. It's important for pet owners to know that some holidays can be stressful or dangerous for your furry friend. These handy tips will help ensure every holiday is enjoyable for you and your pet! 

 

Firework Displays (New Year's and the 4th of July)

  • Do not, under any circumstances, bring your dog to a fireworks display.
  • If you live near the location of a fireworks display, leave your pet inside and try using a white noise machine or playing soft music to help calm your pet and block the sounds of the fireworks.
  • If your pet is particularly fearful of fireworks make every effort to stay inside with them.
  • Be proactive and exercise your dog before the fireworks commence. A tired dog is less anxious.
  • If you plan to stay inside with your pet, try to stay in a familiar environment.
  • Be sure all pets, including indoor cats, wear current ID tags. Consider microchipping your pet if they are not already.
  • You can also stuff a Kong or other work-to-eat toy with special treats for your dog to work on during the fireworks. This can also help your pet associate the scary noises with good things.
  • Do not punish your pet during times of stress as this can only make the problem worse. It is perfectly acceptable, and advisable, to comfort your pet when they are fearful.
  • If it is absolutely necessary to be outside with dogs during fireworks displays, ensure each dog is secure on a leash or harness.

Mardi Gras

  • Avoid taking your pet to any parades. The large crowds can be very stressful for your pet. If you plan to attend any parades with your pet, consider the dog-friendly Barkus parade.

Halloween

  • Candy is for your children with two legs, not four! Chocolate and candies can be toxic to your pets so be sure to keep that candy bowl out of your pet’s reach.
  • Only dress your pet in a costume if they enjoy it! If your pet clearly dislikes being in a costume don’t force them to wear one; it can cause undue stress.
  • If your pet is going to wear a costume, make sure it doesn’t restrict their ability to move, see, breathe, bark or meow. Equally important, make sure there are no small pieces on the costume that your pet can chew off and swallow.
  • Halloween plants like pumpkins and corn can give your pet a stomach ache. Although these plants are non-toxic, they can certainly make your pet uncomfortable if ingested.
  • Bring all pets indoors before the trick-or-treating begins. Outdoor cats and dogs left in the backyard can fall victim to Halloween pranks.
  • Keep your pet away from the front door and the trick-or-treaters. With so many strangers coming to your door, this will help keep your pet’s stress level down and reduce the chance of your pet running away.
  • Keep pumpkins with candles, wires and cords from holiday decorations out of your pet’s reach.
  • Make sure your pet has proper ID tags and is microchipped in case they get separated from you!

Thanksgiving and Christmas

  • Avoid feeding your pet scraps from your holiday meal as many contain ingredients that can be harmful to your pet.
  • If you give your pet turkey, make sure it's boneless and well-cooked.
  • It can be life-threatening for your pet to eat raw bread dough. Also keep your pet away from Thanksgiving or Christmas desserts containing chocolate or raw eggs.
  • Your pet can enjoy mashed potatoes as long as they don't contain cheese, sour cream, onions, butter or gravy.
  • We also encourage pet owners to be mindful of the fat/seasoning content of the food they give their pets. Foods high in fats have been known to cause pancreatitis and other health concerns in pets.
  • The best thing for your pet is to provide them with a comfy, quiet space away from the holiday hustle and bustle and give them some pet-friendly thanksgiving treats to make the day special for them as well. Examples include:
    • Turkey-based canned dog/cat food
    • Turkey jerky treats
    • Plain pumpkin puree, but not pumpkin pie
    • Plain green beans, but not green bean casserole
    • Plain baked sweet potatoes, but not candied yams

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