PHOENIX--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The holiday season is synonymous with family gatherings, dinner parties, gift openings and plenty of festive food, which can pose some challenges for pets.
“Table scraps such as turkey, gravy and stuffing may look harmless, but even small amounts can lead to serious health issues”
Lisa Darling, DVM, PetSmart's resident veterinarian and pet care expert, shares advice for keeping pets safe, healthy and happy this holiday season and throughout the cold winter months.
Create a Safe Home for Pets
This time of year, home holiday décor can include seasonal plants, ornaments and candles, which means plenty of intriguing and dangerous new sights and smells for pets. For example, extra electrical cords can be tempting new “chew toys” for pets. Darling recommends pet parents take special care to ensure extra electrical cords for festive indoor lighting are not accessible to pets by taping them down or covering them to help prevent injuries.
Christmas trees can also pique the interest of curious cats and playful pups. Darling urges pet parents to firmly anchor trees so they can take any potential playful swatting and to keep breakable glass ornaments higher up on the tree, out of pets’ reach, along with temptations like tinsel and ribbons.
Candles can also be problematic, so it’s best to avoid burning them or put them far out of pets’ reach. Seasonal plants like holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs and cats, so if you plan to decorate your home with them, place them in an area your pet cannot reach.
Savor the Season – Safely
The holidays are filled with festive food, treats and candy, and although it can be tempting to share human foods with our beloved pets, resist the urge.
“Table scraps such as turkey, gravy and stuffing may look harmless, but even small amounts can lead to serious health issues,” said Darling.
Instead, include pets in your festive feasting by offering them pet-friendly treats that look and taste like the real thing. Simply Nourish® Merry Meals™, in flavors like Turkey, Sweet Potato and Cranberry, are healthy alternatives to the human food on our holiday table. PetSmart’s meat and cheese tray, pie slice and turkey leg made of rawhide are fun takes on holiday feasting, but are specifically formulated for pets.
Keep Them Calm
The holidays can be a hectic time for people and pets. Extra visitors to the house, travel and commotion can leave pets feeling anxious.
“Before company arrives, try putting your dog or cat in a Thundershirt®, which is designed to provide a calming effect when they experience fear or discomfort,” Darling said. “Many pet parents also find that supplements like LICKS® Zen Calming Remedy also work by promoting calmness and behavior which may help stabilize pets’ moods.”
Keep Them Feeling Cozy and Warm
During especially cold winter days and nights, look to your pet to gauge comfort levels and plan time to dress them accordingly. Generally, if your pet is small and short-haired, it’s likely he or she is sensitive to the cold. The same goes for older pets and those that may be frail or ill.
Darling says that sweaters, coats and booties to protect their paws are all smart (and comfortable) solutions. Booties are particularly important for icy areas that may be salted and can help guard pup’s paws from the harmful solution.
A safe home is a happy and festive home this holiday season. Keeping these tips in mind can help avoid emergency trips to the vet, which means the whole family can enjoy a joyful holiday season. Find more pet-friendly tips for the holidays at Petsmart.com/learning-center.
PetSmart, Inc. is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. At PetSmart, we love pets, and we believe pets make us better people. Every day with every connection, PetSmart’s passionate associates help bring pet parents closer to their pets so they can live more fulfilled lives. This vision impacts everything we do for our customers, the way we support our associates and how we give back to our communities. We employ approximately 55,000 associates, operate approximately 1,500 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and 204 in-store PetSmart® PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities.
PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and pet products and offers dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day Camp day care services and pet adoption services in-store. Our portfolio of digital resources for pet parents – including PetSmart.com, PetFoodDirect.com, Pet360.com and petMD.com – offers the most comprehensive online pet supplies and pet care information in the U.S. Through our in-store pet adoption partnership with independent nonprofit organizations, PetSmart Charities® and PetSmart Charities™ of Canada, PetSmart helps to save the lives of more than 500,000 homeless pets each year.