puppy-583415_960_720The holiday season is a great time to be with family, 2- and 4-legged. It can be a wonderful celebration but there are some dangers that you need to take into account for your pet.

If you are on the road this holiday season, it can be stressful for pets and they may react differently than expected.  The safest place is to have them in the back seat. Clip your pet in with a car seat attachment.  If you have a smaller pet, a pet car seat is a great idea.  Car seat adapters range from $9.99-$19.99 and a car seat averages $74.99.  Additionally, make sure to have current pet tags, their favorite treats and water.  If your pet gets anxious, Happy Traveler soft chews by Ark Naturals are a must.

During the holidays there are people coming and going and sometimes the door may be left open.  Any pet with new people or surroundings will be anxious.  An open door is an escape from a stressful situation.  If you cannot watch your pets at all times, you should keep them in their kennel or in a room with something fun to occupy them (that includes both felines and canines).  If you have a cat or a dog, put the pet’s favorite dry kibble in a food cube.  Food cubes come in all shapes and sizes.  My favorite for cats and small dogs is a Buster Food Cube at $12.99.  For medium-large dogs or destructive pets, use a Bob-a-Lot ($18.99-$25.99). The Bob-a-Lot was created by Triple Crown Dog Academy in Austin now known as Starmark Animal Behavior Center.  It reminds me of a weighted bowling pin.  You put the dry food in the top, tighten the cover and on the side you can adjust how large you want the opening for the food to fall out.  Your pet pushes the toy around and the food falls out.  Sounds simple but if your pet is food motivated, this is a must. Once they master it, you can make the hole smaller so that it is more difficult.  Oh, I forgot to mention, it is too large to roll under your couch or bed so it won’t get lost.  I can’t tell you how many times I have had to get on all 4s and dig out toys from under something. Also – my labs started using it at 6 weeks old and, still at 4 years old, they love it (and it is in one piece).  Other ideas are to put the TV on (the animal channel, of course) and give your pets a chew that they don’t need to be supervised with like a beef ear or sweet potato chew.  For any bones or other chews, it is always a good idea to monitor or be close by.  Sometimes pets can be a little over-exuberant and if they swallow too big a bite, it can be a choking hazard.  I am not a fan of raw hide. Raw hide is dried skin that expands in your pet’s stomach and can cause blockage and can be an allergen.

cat-1207460_1280

Given the opportunity, your pet, feline and canine, will help themselves to holiday fixins when no one is looking. Keep food away and never give them cooked bones.  Cooked bones are brittle and are a choking hazard or worse, could puncture something internally.  Instead, get your pets their own holiday dinner.  There are a multitude of choices for turkey foods for your pet.  For canned food, why not enjoy Merrick dog Thanksgiving Day Dinner for $2.89, Nulo Turkey and Sweet Potato for $2.89 or Zignature Turkey cans at $3.29.  For your cat, Weruva BFF Tuna and Turkey for $1.09 or Merrick Turkey Pate for $1.29-$1.59 are great choices.  For dessert, you can give a Weruva Pumpkin Patch pouch for $1.39 (great for cats too) or a large can of natural or organic pumpkin for $2.99-$3.29. 

Enjoy the holidays and make sure to spoil your four-legged family member!

pets-962215_1280