2019 Holidays: Pet Safety
Hanukkah and Christmas are just weeks away; and while pet owners are scurrying around households to prepare for incoming guests and more, they are not keeping watch on their pets. Here are pet safety tips to remember this holiday season:
Pets are curious creatures, and they will sniff around new objects and even eat anything they find appealing. Some things they find, such as chocolate, are toxic and can harm them. Pets must avoid eating any sugary substances that will make them sick on their stomachs. And, candy wrappers, including aluminum foils, can become choking hazards, if ingested.
Fur trees and conifers, including our beloved Christmas tree, contain oils that are toxic to dogs and can irritate their mouths and stomachs. The tree needles, in particular, can lead to gastrointestinal irritation and punctures as well as choking hazards. It's best to keep pets away from Christmas trees - avoid having them sniff around fragile Christmas ornaments that may fall and shatter; and chewing on Christmas lights.
Menorahs and candles
Keep candles and the Menorah away from pets to avoid burning them. This is a particular concern for cat owners who may have curious cats that jump on counter tops.
The holidays are all about having family and friends over to party; however, too much commotion and the sight of new faces may make dogs and cats anxious. It's best to calm them down with soothing Jazz music or by playing with them for a bit. In addition, pets may be required to stay inside a closed bedroom for the evening or outside in the fenced in yard.
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Dog Obesity Rates
Based on statistics, dog owners probably own a fat dog.
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 56 percent of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. This equates to over 50 million dogs - yikes!
Dogs that are obese risk more than just being fat. For one, they will have breathing problems and trouble getting up due to arthritis. They will also have high blood pressure and will shorten their life expectancy.
There are many ways that pet owners can help dogs lose weight at home. For starters, they will need to speak with a veterinarian about moving dogs over to healthy dog foods formulated to help dogs shed pounds. Secondly, they will need to feed dogs less amounts of food.
While at home, dog owners should be more active with dogs and play with them in the fenced-in yard. They should help dogs run; jump; and crawl. These actions require all muscles and will serve them well as they age.
Dog strength training exercises are important for maintaining strong bones and healthy joints. For dogs that are overweight, choose to help move dogs in a healthier motion.
Adopt a Senior Pet!
November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month a time for animal shelters and humane societies to urge potential pet owners to think about adopting older dogs and cats.
There are many reasons why pet owners choose to adopt senior pets. For one, these pets are already house-trained, potty-trained; and they will not ruin furniture. Some senior animals are not moving as quickly as they used to; and this makes for a calmer animal. Best of all, adopting older pets gives animals a second chance at living outside of cages.
Adopting a senior pet requires love and commitment. These animals will need more frequent vet visits and time spent outside. The more outdoor playtime, the better these animals will be. Playing with dogs and cats in a fenced-in backyard allows them to run, jump and strength train - especially important as they age to build healthy bones and joints.
This Senior Pet Month, consider pet adoption of older pets! Visit a local animal shelter near you today.