Autumn Pet Tips From Yolo Veterinary Clinic
Fleas will make life miserable for you and your pets. When fleas bite, they suck blood, which causes itching and irritation. Fleas also spread diseases and a variety of medical problems. So don't suffer – make sure your home is flea-free. Make sure your pets wear flea collars and check with your veterinarian for the flea control products he recommends for your pets. Vacuum often and put a flea collar inside your vacuum bag.
Beware Halloween: Watch Your Step
The costumed young ghosts and goblins who will be ringing your doorbell this Halloween can unnecessarily frighten and terrify your pets. Plan ahead. If you know your pets don't react well to noise, keep them in a room farthest away from all the action. Give them a favorite toy to play with and a comfortable bed or cushion. Play some classical or other calming music in the background to drown out the cacophony outside.
If your kids are going trick or treating, discourage them from taking pets along. In all the excitement and confusion of going house to house, it is easy for pets to get loose and get lost. Costumes on pets aren't a good idea either because they can get tangled and choke or otherwise injure your pet.
It's hard to resist the lure of holiday sweets, but keep them away from your pets. Chocolates can be harmful, even toxic, to dogs and cats. Hard candies can pose a choking hazard or block intestinal tracts. If you feel guilty about indulging while your pets watch, have some of their favorite treats on hand so they don't go for the candies.
Dogs and cats are social animals who crave human companionship. Be a good neighbor and socialize your pet.
Resist the urge to feed table scraps from your Thanksgiving feast to your pets. Ask your guests to refrain, too. Make sure your trash containers are secured and pet-proofed. Those tasty poultry and steak bones can splinter and perforate the stomach and other internal organs. Indulging in too much of the other holiday goodies can cause diarrhea and intestinal upsets in the best-behaved dogs and cat.
Thousands of volunteers bring the special companionship that only dogs and cats can provide to the residents of nursing homes and patients in hospitals across the country. The residents and patients look forward to the visits, and the pet therapy volunteers and their dogs and cats find them just as rewarding. Consider joining the pet therapy program at your local shelter. It's a great way you and your pet can help someone in need.
Use Safe Holiday Decorations
Christmas and Hanukkah lights and decorations are tempting targets for dogs and cats. Thousands of pets are injured each season when they chew on electrical cords or break glass tree ornaments. String, ribbon, and tinsel can get caught in a cat's or dog's intestines. Avoid glass ornaments and other breakable decorations. Secure those lights and electrical cords.
Pets Deserve Christmas Gifts, Too
Don't forget about your pets during the holidays. They give you so much love and companionship during the year, so don't they deserve something special at the holidays? The holidays are a great time to bring home a special new toy, scratching post or padded bed for your favorite canine or feline friend. The new toy could be just the thing to distract them from playing with your new holiday decorations.
A puppy or kitten is a major responsibility that many pets lovers simply aren't able to take on, so please don't surprise a person or family with a pet. After the novelty wears off, in a few weeks, and the reality of busy work and school schedules sets in, most pets given as gifts wind up in animal shelters. If someone on your gift list is interested in a pet, why not offer to take them to a local animal shelter and help pay the adoption fee if they find a dog or cat they would like to bring home?
Include Pets in Holiday Festivities
Pets are part of your household and family during the rest of the year, so why exclude them from holiday festivities? Banishing your pets to the isolation of the basement or a locked bedroom every time guests come to your home only invites the kind of destructive behavioral problems that are difficult and time-consuming to correct. If your pet enjoys being with people and isn't intimidated by boisterous conversations, introduce him to guests and let him absorb as much of the festive atmosphere as he feels comfortable with.
Beware of Poisonous Houseplants
The holidays bring out a festive array of decorative plants. Although we enjoy them, they can be a problem for pets that chew on them or eat them. Poinsettias and mistletoe are particularly dangerous.
The New Year gives you a wonderful opportunity to assess your relationship with your pets. They give you so much warmth and companionship. In the year ahead, return the favor by spending more quality time with your pet. Make sure you take them on a visit to the vet.