Tag Archives: pet stress

Holiday Pet Safety

AHP_4422-LThe holidays can be an exciting time with people visiting, lots of packages, lights, music, trees, wonderful smells from the kitchen, and days getting busier and busier. To ease your pet’s stress, it’s important to try to keep their routine as close to the same as possible. Of course we want to include our furry friends, but keeping their exercise and eating habits as close to their normal routines as possible is important. Also, you want to be sure to keep them from eating unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations.

• Christmas trees. Making sure your tree is securely anchored so it doesn’t tip and fall, causing a possible injury to your pet. You can always use fishing line to secure your tree to the ceiling or wall in case of any accidents, and place your breakable ornaments in higher spots. This is also insuring that the tree water doesn’t spill, which could include fertilizers which could cause your pet to have an upset stomach. Your pet could end up feeling very sick if they drink your tree water. To prevent your pet from drinking the tree water, try covering the base around the stand with a tree skirt.

• Tinsel. Kittens especially are attracted to this shiny, sparkly “toy” that they can bat around and carry in their mouths. A nibble can easily lead to them swallowing the tinsel, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract and can cause severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. If at all possible, try to find something else to decorate with, other than tinsel.

• Food. It’s very important that we keep our sweets and especially chocolate away from our furry friends. But there are also many other things that we need to keep in mind to keep out of the way of our pets. Often times our table scraps have herbs and seasonings that can make our pets very sick. It’s important to do your research before feeding them anything from the table – and instead of table scraps, try spoiling your pet with a new toy or pet biscuit! Also be aware of the things they can get into, such as garbage cans or items left out on the counter! Our pets can be very sneaky – so be on the lookout!

 Toys. We love to give our pets gifts for the holiday season, but make sure you pick out toys and gifts that are safe for them!

Some things to keep in mind:

  •  Dogs often like to tear toys apart and can swallow the smaller pieces that come off, this can lead to them becoming lodged into the esophagus, stomach or intestines. Kong toys are a great and safe gift for your pet to enjoy, and it can be cheap to refill! It’s easy to stuff different foods and treats in your pet’s Kong to keep them entertained and safe from harm’s way.
  •  Although our feline friends enjoy the long, stringy toys, these can be the most risky toys for them. It’s important to watch out for ribbon, yarn, string and other loose little parts that can get stuck in their intestines that can often lead to surgery. Instead, surprise your kitty with a new ball that’s too big to swallow or a stuffed cat nip toy – they will be very happy!

• Holiday plants. Some plants such as poinsettias, mistletoe, holly and various berries can cause pets to suffer from serious illness. Instead of taking the chance that your pet could ingest this, try to opt for some holly-jolly artificial plants to ensure that they are pet-safe!

• Candles. Having that holiday glow is nice, but be sure not to leave them unattended because if they are knocked over it could cause a fire or they could burn themselves. Also use appropriate candle holders, and place them on a stable surface and higher up out of reach. Those fluffy tails can be a problem around a burning flame!

• Wires. Try to place electrical wires and cords along with lights strings in our-of-reach areas, especially if your pet is a chewer! Wires can deliver a potential lethal electrical shock to your pet. Also making sure batteries are out of reach too because a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus.

• House rules. If you have animal-loving friends who just need to play with your pet, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session, but then after a while let your pet have the opportunity to retreat to their own quiet space. Sometimes our pets just need a little alone time in their own private space. Make sure to provide them ample fresh water and a nice place to snuggle up and relax. Often times the noise can be too overwhelming for our furry friends and it’s nice to have an outlet for them.

• Meds and alcohol. Be sure to keep all medication and alcoholic beverages away from your pets. If they’re ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.

• New Year’s Noise. As much fun as the big countdown is for us, it can be dangerous and frightening for our furry loves. Keep in mind that the strings of confetti can get lodged in a cat’s intestines if ingested and potentially lead to surgery. And also noisy poppers can be terrifying for our pets and can cause damage to sensitive ears.

We all want to have a great holiday season, including our furry friends! Just be sure to be aware of the dangers that are around during this busy time. It’s possible to have a fun and safe holiday season, just be aware of the tips listed above!

Happy Holidays from Seattle Humane!AHP_4443-L

Pets Get the Back-to-School-Blues, Too!

i-cbT38vH-X2It’s hard to say goodbye to summer, not only for us but also for our furry four-legged friends too! As we get nervous to jump into the back-to-school routine yet again, so do our pets. Our pets enjoy the summer because it’s more time to spend with us! During the summer, most of us either take a vacation from work or your children are home from school and able to give that extra attention and exercise our pets long for. With the back-to-school schedule quickly approaching, our dogs and cats can be left wondering “Why the sudden change?”—and this can make them feel stressed.

Our pets thrive on routine, they like knowing what to expect and when to expect it. What may seem like a small change to you, can feel like a very big change for our pets and can cause them to feel anxious. Without routine stimulation they’ve grown accustomed to, pets can entertain themselves or act out their stress by barking, scratching furniture, getting into the trash, house soiling, being generally destructive.

The best thing to do for your pet is to avoid abrupt change and work them into their new routine in the time leading up to the school year with short periods of separation that gradually become longer. Rely on the following tips to help prevent behavior problems and maintain the health and happiness of your pet while you’re away.

Give your pet a treat every time you leave to help them develop positive associations with being alone.

Keep your departures and returns quiet and low-key so it doesn’t arouse any alarm unduly. Leave a familiar blanket or one of your t-shirts with your pet. Your smell will help soothe them. Ask your kids to spend quality time with the family pet after school – a walk around the block, a game of fetch in the yard.

Puzzle treats entertain longer – Keep them stimulated with physical and mental workouts. Hiding treats around the home can keep a dog or cat busy for hours. Stuffed Kongs are also great entertainment for dogs and some cats love to find a paper bag lying open on the floor (sprinkle cat nip inside)!lulufinal

Consider hiring an occasional dog walker or bring your pooch to a doggie daycare a few times a week to break up their day. This can help alleviate boredom and provide your pet with exercise.

Don’t scold or punish your pet for bad behavior when you come home. It may make your pet more anxious and make situations worse.

Try to avoid making additional changes if you can help it – don’t change their diet at this time, for example. Keep exercise consistent and set aside a designated time each evening to give your pet one-on- one attention.