Keep Your Pets Safe This Holiday Season…

Posted on December 20, 2011. Filed under: 4. Guest Bloggers | Tags: , , , , , |

SEAACA (Southeast Area Animal Control Authority; www.seaaca.org) has released a helpful list of tips for pet owners to keep their animals safe this holiday season.  Holiday gatherings and celebrations are great for people, but they can at times pose problems for pets.  SEAACA’s tips to help pets and pet owners enjoy the festivities are:

  •  Watch the Decorations.  Decking the halls is fun, but it also can be dangerous to pets.  Make sure electric cords and candles are out of reach of dogs and cats.  Remember that pets can easily eat ornaments and tinsel.  Also, poinsettias, holly, mistletoe, and many other holiday plants can be toxic to dogs or cats.
  • Wrap It Up.  While gifts and giftwrap can make the holidays very festive, beware of bells, ribbons, small toys, and other items that could be choking hazards for your pet.
  • No “Roasting on an Open Fire.”  Fireplaces, candles, and hearths are great for chestnuts and holiday gatherings, but they can be dangerous to wandering or excited pets.  Make sure all fire sources are monitored and pets don’t have the opportunity to accidentally knock over a candle or anything else.
  • Don’t Supersize Them.  Do not feed your pet human food.  But, if you do, avoid giving large amounts of food during the holidays.  Humans are much larger and heavier than dogs and cats and can handle bigger food servings.   Our pets cannot.  During the holidays, it’s very easy to forget and over feed pets, upsetting their digestive system and compromising their health.
  • Rich Foods Lead to Poor Health.  Holiday foods can be filled with spices and seasonings and can cause health problems in pets.  Human holiday treats, which are not good for pets, include buttery foods, nuts, candy, and chocolate, all of which can be very toxic to some animals.  Just try to keep your pets on their regular schedule with their regular food.
  • No Paws on the Bubbly.  Pets and alcohol don’t mix.  Keep the champagne, wine, and other drinks out of reach of pets, which might sneak in a sip only to find they are very sick afterwards.
  • “Ain’t” Too Proud to Beg.  As pets become accustomed to human food, they can learn irritating begging habits.  These habits can be rude to family members and guests during holiday time.   Try to keep pet meals in a separate room with designated pet food rather than human leftovers.
  • Adding A New Member To The Family.   Many families choose the holidays to give a pet as a gift or to add a new pet to the family animal population.  There are many wonderful “adoption” events at SEAACA and with SEAACA partners during December.  Remember, time and effort are needed to acclimate a pet to a new environment throughout the year – the holidays are a special challenge requiring even more time and attention.



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Healthy Holiday Eating Tips for Fido and Fluffy

Posted on November 16, 2011. Filed under: 1. Daily Life | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The holidays are a time to share wonderful meals with family and friends.  For pets, however, the risk of overfeeding and eating dangerous food items during the holiday season can pose significant health risks.  From Thanksgiving to New Year’s and beyond, the food keeps coming and the guests revel, but the pets can suffer.  To help resolve this holiday dilemma, SEAACA (Southeast Area Animal Control Authority, www.seaaca.org) has created a list of tips to help pet owners enjoy their holiday meals while maintaining their pet’s health and welfare.

·      Don’t Supersize Them. Please do not feed your pet human food. But, if you do, avoid giving large amounts of cooked turkey or ham during the holidays. Humans are much larger and heavier than dogs and cats and can handle bigger food servings; our pets cannot. During the holidays, it’s very easy to forget this and overfeed pets, thus upsetting their digestive system and compromising their health.  Should you feed your pet human food, also avoid food that has been out of the refrigerator for a long period of time. Pets need to be protected against food that is undercooked or subject to spoilage because of lack of refrigeration.

·      Watch the Richness. Holiday food can be filled with spices and seasonings, which can cause health problems in pets. Try to keep you pets on their regular schedule with their regular food.  

·      Ain’t To Proud to Beg. As pets become accustomed to human food, they can learn irritating begging habits that can be rude to family members and guests during mealtimes. Try to keep pet meals in a separate room with designated pet food rather than human leftovers.

·      No Bones About It. Do not feed pets bones, particularly chicken, turkey and other poultry bones. Bones can break apart cause intestinal pain, and sometimes choking, in pets. 

·      Sweet Are Not Treats. Candy and highly sugary items can wreak havoc on a pet’s diet. Also, candy wrappers can be eaten by dogs and cats and can result in choking or digestive pain.

·      Beware of Non-Edibles. During the hustle and bustle of holiday meals, it’s easy to lose track of pets. Make sure you keep an eye on them so that they’re not eating non-edible items, such as food packaging or gift wrap, that might have fallen to the floor or left somewhere in the home.

·      Treat Dogs and Cats As Individuals. If you have both dogs and cats, remember that they might have different dietary preferences, and that they need different portion sizes. Use discretion and don’t hand out holiday leftovers blindly. 

“Holidays meals are special family moments, but they can be a problem for pets,” noted SEAACA Executive Director, Dan Morrison. “If we remember to prevent overfeeding and to use discretion when giving pets meals during this festive season, everyone will benefit,” he added.
 
For more information about SEAACA, please visit www.seaaca.org
 

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