Posts Tagged ‘pet safety tips’

8 Holiday Pet-Proofing Tips

December 4, 2013

ImageHere’s a question that I get asked often this time of the year: How do you keep all those pets of yours out of trouble?

It’s a great question when you’ve got tinsel, glittery ornaments and all holiday trappings decking your halls, walls and — most menacingly of all — your holiday tree (if you happen to have one).

The answer to this perfectly reasonable query: I’m really into decorating my home with all kinds of oddball stuff — even more so during the holidays — so I’m well aware that the secret to keeping pets out of trouble is to understand that there is no 100 percent risk-free environment. You also need to assess and prioritize the risks your household presents, find your pets’ risk-taking tendencies and work to strategically lower the most dangerous risks to individual pets.

You can make yourself crazy trying to pet-proof your home for every possible risk — and you’re unlikely to get rid of every possible danger. That’s just life. I’ve seen dogs drown in their water bowls and choke on perfectly “safe” collars and restraints. But I understand why it may be useful to hear what a veterinarian might do to pet-proof her own abode. So here’s my list of must-dos.

1. Elevate the Holiday Tree

Put the tree in a tall pot or up on a high pedestal to make it harder for pets to tip the tree over, drink the water (sometimes cited as a toxic issue) or take an interest in low-hanging decorations. (It goes without saying that all decorations should be out of an animal’s reach.)

I’ve used a tall pot for the past couple of years, which brings me to my next tip.

2. Stabilize and Secure Your Decor

Whatever decorations you put up, go the extra mile and make them inaccessible to pets. Whether it’s lodging the tree in a sturdy position (a standard tree stand will not work if you’ve got a sufficiently motivated cat) or tacking wreaths and garlands securely, the idea is to keep stuff in a spot that won’t be accessible to your playful pets.

3. Don’t Buy Dangerous Stuff

Why take the risk with real mistletoe (reportedly toxic), yarn, ribbon or tinsel?

4. Purchase Nontoxic Stuff Instead

I use silver duct tape in place of ribbons, 100 percent nontoxic native trees in place of pines (pine oil has been reported to cause liver damage in some pets) and recyclable paper ornaments (origami is fun to learn). Sure, paper isn’t as shiny, but it’s classy — and one less thing to tempt pets.

5. Prevent the Pee-Pee Problem

Pet proofing for the holidays isn’t just about pets. Sometimes the goal is to keep humans from suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous urine. I have a dog who (this has been confirmed by multiple trainers) cannot be housebroken. Anything low — like a holiday tree — must be raised, so he doesn’t decide it’s worth marking.

6. Embrace Crates

This time of year, I’m even more of a sucker for crates — and I’m always a stickler when it comes to crating my dogs for safety reasons. To keep my cuties from running amok and headlong into danger, I keep them close. Since I spend 80 percent of my waking life in the kitchen, I drag the crates into that space and let them watch me do my thing.

7. Conceal Electric Cords

I’ve had two pets chew through them, and I’ve seen plenty of burned mouths as a result of electric shock, so I’m vigilant about keeping pets away from cords. Covering them with heavy-duty plastic liners helps, but during the holidays I’ve taken to using twinkly indoor lights powered by batteries. There’s only so much damage a pet can do chewing through these.

8. Keep Pets Away From Chocolate

Safety is all well and good, but here’s where I draw the line: Chocolate is a holiday must-have for me. So I’m very careful with the dark chocolate that’s included in probably 20 percent of my homemade holiday treats. Sure, chocolate is toxic, but here’s where knowing when to be careful is more than half the battle: In all my years of pet keeping and dark chocolate wielding, I’ve never had an incident.

Yard Safety Tips for Your Pets

March 16, 2012

Outdoor pet safety

With warmer weather approaching, our pets are longing to spend more time outdoors.  If you are fortunate enough, you might even have a backyard where your dog can run, play and explore.  Whether your pet is free to romp in a fenced in backyard or has an electric fence, there are several possible hazards in your yard that can cause injury or create problems for your dog.

Some of the possible hazards include:

  • Sharp nails or wires on fencing
  • Loose fence boards or areas where pets can sneak out, around or under
  • Trash tossed or blown into the yard that may be chewed on or ingested
  • Improperly stored toxins such as rodenticide, slug bait, fertilizer or antifreeze

If you find that your dog has become sick or injured as a result of encountering these hazards, don’t hesitate to call us at 614-888-4050!

4 Ways to Keep Your Beloved Pets Safe Over the Holidays

December 12, 2010

After three years of repeated vomiting each holiday season, a fake tree is now our only option! After decades of enjoying the scent of real pine, it took only two, small cats to change tradition. Our rather beautiful cats love to consume pine needles like you and I munch on popcorn….only to vomit shortly thereafter. Perhaps one cycle of consuming the pine needles from the Christmas tree and the act of vomiting might prevent our beloved kitties from continuing to endulge but noooooo…. our posh pets ate and vomited, ate and vomited… until we could take it no more!

Turns out that pets enggage in all sorts of odd (and potentially dangerous) behaviors during the holiday season. We see pets during this time of year who like to consume tinsel (warning: don’t pull or tug at the tinsel…just snip off the exposed string) and then there are dogs and cats who find the twinkle of holiday lights just too irrisistable. It is not uncommon for our furry friends to enjoy the crunch of wires…giving them quite the shock.

Consider the following to keep your pets safe this holiday season:

1. Don’t wrap chocolate as a gift and place it under the tree, our pets can sniff it out and feast….keep chocolate out of the reach of pets.

2. Poinsettias may be pretty but if consumed by your pet (although only mildly toxic), may result in mild vomiting and nausea.

3. Enjoy your turkey but don’t share….with your pet. Bones can splinter and cause blockage. In fact, don’t share any of YOUR holiday meal…instead…make one that is safe, festive and tasty for your pet.

4. Not only might your cat like the pine tree needles but does your dog drink from the water intended to hydrate the tree? Sipping from the tree stand might result in nausea as the fertilizers used on the tree leak into the water.

We don’t mean to take the joy out of the season, we just wanted to make you aware of some of the antics our pets get involved in during this time of the year! If you should ever have any questions or need urgent care for your pet, give us a call at (614) 888-4050…we’re here!