We thought it would be a great idea to put pen to paper and throw some helpful hints that we talked about in the latest La Pawtite Pawd-cast Holiday Special. You can find it on iTunes and Google Play right now!
Holiday season means a LOT of invited (and uninvited!) guests coming to your house. And if you just recently got a new puppy or kitten, oh man, it’s going to be an experience. Make sure there’s a safe space that your pet can run to, hide, or get away, in case all the hustle and bustle gets to be a bit too much for them.
Some other pointers for guests :
- Your door is going to be opening and closing for guests, so make sure it is closed and secured. Last thing you need is a lost pet on Thanksgiving. That being said, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to make sure all the address and contact information is up to date on microchips and tags.
- Let your guests know what type of pets you have. Short-hair Jack-Russels to long-hair Shelties or Aussies, different dogs have different temperaments, and someone may be allergic to your bundle of joy!
- A sleepy pup is a happy pup (and happy family!) Take them out for a long walk or a serious play time session before the festivities. They’ll be too pooped (hopefully) to be that much of a handful.
Kids….yeah. We’ll leave it at that. But we would like to share our 7 Paw-mandments!
The 7 Paw-mandments of La Pawtite
- Leave the dog alone if you don’t know him/her.
- Ask first before touching or petting.
- Be a “tree” – stand still, hands low clasped in front or at sides, look at feet, stay quiet.
- Do not YELL, HIT, run at, PUSH, PULL TAILS (or Pretend to), make sudden movements, take toys or anything out of their mouths.
- Leave them alone when sleeping. Do not disturb them while in their bed/crate or eating!
- Do not continue to try to get pets to play if he walks away. He’ll let you know if he’s ready to play again.
- Don’t try to dress them up, put hats on, etc.
With Thanksgiving being about that food, be careful of those “counter-surfers”! All that food and yummy treats are going to be irresistible to your pup. And since we are all guilty of giving a table scrap or two, be mindful of what you are slipping under the table. Meal-prep in advance tiny morsels for them! Green beans and turkey are great for dogs, but not so much when covered in gravy and butter.
Bread dough is another big one, as pets have an extremely hard time digesting it! (Jenn goes into a bit of detail on this one, so check it out!) And obviously, artificial sweeteners like Aspartame and sugar alcohols like Zylitol do not sit well with tummies!
At La Pawtite, we include our Sam and Thisbe in all holiday activities, but Christmas typically takes the (fruit)cake! And we recommend the same for all of our pet friends. But there are a couple of things you may want to be mindful of during this holiday, especially with the Christmas tree.
Cats love climbing trees, and now you have a 5+ foot green climbing post in your living room. Make sure the tree is secured, with ornaments high enough that they don’t dangle near the floor. A bright shiny object to bat around? That’s a recipe for disaster.
Pets love to eat, and they’ll eat just about anything. Some common Christmas decorations, that cause digestion and health issues in pets include :
- Mistletoe – Causes stomach issues and cardiovascular problems
- Holly – Causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Lillies – Can cause kidney failure (especially in cats)
- Poinsettia – Also can cause kidney failure
Everyone loves decorations! It’s half the fun of having a tree (the other half being where presents go!) But those decorations can be a hazard to your pet, such as :
- Tinsel – A fun toy, until swallowed. Can cause digestive tract obstruction, vomiting, choking, dehydration, potential surgery
- Lights – Bright shiny lights are a beacon for pets. Virtually says “come play!!”. Keep them high enough off the ground, especially around cats and bunnies! Secure wires as well!
- Edible decorations – Just don’t use them, if possible. Candy canes, popcorn, etc.
- Gift wrap, ribbons, bows – Like lights, they are instant magnets!
Along with the tree, stockings should be safely secured. And high enough that those mischievous pets can’t reach them.
Now, this may seem all doom and gloom, and you shouldn’t involve your pets in the Holiday Spirit, but that’s definitely not the case! They are an integral part of the family, so spoil them like no other. Get them their own stocking and a present or two under the tree. While they play with their new toys, the rest of the family can open their presents (hopefully) in peace.
New Years is a lot of fun, not that we would know (in bed by Matlock, fast asleep by Murder She Wrote.) But New Years brings it own set of unique circumstances that should be considered. Sudden loud noises aren’t exactly music to the ears of cats and dogs, as not all pets are comfortable with loud bangs. Fireworks and noisemakers should obviously be used away from pets.
Keep the booze out of reach too! Pets don’t care if the ABV (Alcohol Blood Volume) is 4.8% or 12.6%, it’s not a good idea to leave that champagne glass or IPA unattended.
Lastly, include them in any New Year’s Resolutions! Is it time for Buddy to lose a lb or two? Go for more walks in the new year! If your resolution is to be more active, eat a little healthier, or be a bit more social, including your pet is a great idea! They’ll love spending more time with you. 🙂
We hope you not only enjoyed listening to the Podcast, but have a fun and safe Holiday season!