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How the Holidays Can Wreak Havoc on Your Pet October 27 2015

With the line of holidays coming up, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Valentine's Day, it's easy to forget how they may negatively impact your pet.

The first holiday havoc to think about is FOOD. From Halloween chocolates to Christmas fruit cake, it's easy for your pet to pig out on something they shouldn't be. Give yourself a reminder on what foods are unsafe for pets so they'll be fresh in your brain when the sweets are out, and just because something isn't on the list doesn't mean it's ok! If anything, keeping food away from your pet will help them from gaining extra winter weight.

A second havoc is holiday PLANTS. Did you know there are almost 400 plants that are toxic to dogs and cats? With a huge list it is easy to become overwhelmed, so let's focus on the top holiday plants. Make sure to keep your Amaryllis, Poinsettia, Mistletoe, and Holly out of fido or fluffy's reach, and keep Pine Needles swept or vacuumed up regularly. 

The third havoc is holiday DECORATIONS. It's fun to decorate the house and yard for the different holidays, but be sure there isn't anything your pet can get tangled in, electrocuted by, cut by, or anything for them to find as a nice snack. Ribbons, spider webs, tinsel, and wrapping paper are easy for your pet to ingest so clean up well and make sure they are hung up high. Holiday lights can also be tempting for pets to chew on so try and keep the cords protected or hidden. Any glass or sharp decorations should also be put up high and not in a place your pet can knock them over and then walk through.

Holiday havoc number four is LOUD NOISES. New Year's fireworks, screaming Halloween heads, and Christmas cracker poppers can startle your pet and send them running to hide. If your pet has issues with loud noises, keep them out of the room before the festivities start. We offer a few Calming options to help with anxiety and nervousness (Calming Spray and ZEN Licks vitamins). The last thing you want is to deal with a stressed out pet right in the middle of your celebration.

Our fifth havoc is holiday TRAVEL. While airlines and hotels are becoming more pet friendly, traveling with your pet or leaving them at home/in a kennel can pull on their emotional strings. Sure not all pets mind when you leave them, but many can become anxious, depressed, or destructive. If they will not be staying at someone's house who will give them them the attention and the exercise they need, look for a reputable boarding kennel in your area. Some kennels take dogs on walks, spend the night with them, have cat play rooms, and even provide in home pet sitting. Check out petsitters.org, care.com, or sittercity.com for in-home pet sitters. Also the AKC has some good questions to ask at your local boarding facility to make sure they will be a good fit. 

Last, but not least, plan ahead and have your vets number on hand, poison control's number on hand, and know where the closest emergency vet office is just in case something happens. 

Hopefully we these tips all of your upcoming holidays will be filled with cheer and happiness for you and your pet!