Glittering glass ornaments, shimmering tinsel, and shiny decorations give your home a warm, holiday glow. They can also be irresistibly tempting to pets. With a few simple precautions, you can turn your holidays into a joyful and safe season for all.
Before you bring out all the decorations, do a careful assessment of your home. Choose the safest possible location for all of your festive flourishes so they’re out of reach of pets and children.
Holiday Food, Cookie, and Candy Displays
Many homes traditionally set out all sorts of holiday indulgences for sampling any time of day (or night). From fudge, wrapped and unwrapped chocolates, candies, and cookies to gingerbread houses, cakes, and pies, the holidays are a treat for everyone – except your pets.
“People food” is a huge temptation for animals, so be sure to block access to people treats. Chocolate is toxic, so keep an extra close eye on your pets around these. People foods eaten by pets can cause stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea or worse. Keep some pet-friendly holiday treats on hand. Remember to limit table scraps, and make sure your guests know not to share their
food with your pets.
Holiday Decorations, Lights, and Candles
While many items look beautiful and harmless to us, a shard of glass from an ornament, strands of tinsel, and even those cute hand-crafted cookie/playdoh or macaroni ornaments your kids made in school can be harmful to pets if ingested. Cats, in particular, love the sparkle from tinsel which can cause irreparable internal damage if ingested.
Make sure that any electrical wires are tucked out of sight and that ornaments and lights are placed well out of reach for your curious pet’s paws. Christmas Tree lights can get extremely hot, giving your dog or cat a bad little burn if they venture over to sniff or touch them.
Remember to blow out Menorah candles (actually any type of candle!) every night. A simple bump of the table by an excited pet could send the candles tumbling and start a fire. The same is true for the ever-popular scented holiday candles, especially those that smell like food. Never leave a flame unattended!
Festive Plants, Trees, and Holiday Wreaths
Amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, holly, and lilies look deceptively nice. Poinsettias do, too. However, when it comes to being safe for pets, they all belong on the naughty list. Their festive foliage can cause serious medical problems ranging from nausea to serious kidney failure and heart issues. Play it safe and opt for artificial holiday arrangements instead.
Pine needles (real and artificial) from wreaths or holiday trees can seriously injure your pet if they are ingested. If you have a live Christmas tree, you also want to keep your pet away from the water as they may be getting a dose of tree fertilizer or other harmful chemicals with their drink.
The safest place for your Christmas tree is in a room that’s off-limits to your pet. If that’s not feasible, situate it in a corner that you can block off with a play fence or other obstruction. Make sure the tree is secured and can’t topple over.
Gifts & Wrapping Paper
Who can resist the sight of gifts piled beneath the tree? Make sure that those beautifully wrapped presents are kept out of your pet’s reach, especially during gift opening time. From Styrofoam peanuts and plastic packaging to batteries, candy, and shiny twist ties, there’s a tantalizing treasure trove of temptation for your pet.
Having lots of people over to celebrate? With everyone’s attention diverted with presents and celebrations, you may want to have your pet in another room during gift exchanges to make sure they don’t accidentally ingest something harmful. Consider giving your furry friend a place of their own that’s well away from all the action and temptations. Setup a safe space that is designated as a “no people room” in a room in your house, with soft lighting and a comfortable place for your pets to relax for a bit.
Now that you’ve taken all the necessary precautions to keep your pets safe around holiday decorations, enjoy your holiday season!
[disclaimer] Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.
All dogs deserve a great home; and that’s exactly the mission of the LovePup Foundation. Since forming our partnership in 2018 when the foundation came to fruition, LovePup has come to the rescue for countless dogs. From puppies to seniors, the team has continued to come to the aid of hundreds of dogs in the short time the foundation has existed.
Founded by Blake Van Es and her husband Johnjay (a Phoenix-based DJ with a nationally-syndicated morning show), the have put their hearts, souls, passion and energy into giving the dogs they rescue a happy, healthy life. (Learn more about them in our blog here).
In 2018, we were able to provide a $50,000 initial medical grant to the LovePup Foundation. The foundation uses the grant to help ensure that all the rescue dogs have what they need to get ready for their fur-ever homes; treatment for any medical conditions, spay/neuter, and current vaccinations. The partnership takes some of the financial burden off the foundation, allowing them to focus their donation and grant funds to ensure the stability of the organization to remain open and operating. The partners at AZPetVet were humbled and honored to re-up our veterinary services medical grant for another $50,000 this year for 2019.
As a homegrown business ourselves (our first AZPetVet location opened in 1984 in Glendale, AZ), giving back is a fundamental part of our core values and mission as an organization. The partnership with LovePup creates the opportunity for our team of incredible employees to give back to our local community by utilizing their professional skills. We are thankful for our staff who lead with kindness and compassion, and we are excited for another wonderful year ahead supporting the great work of the LovePup Foundation.
Five Fun Holiday Ideas for Your Furry Family Members
The holiday season brings family gatherings, parties, gourmet feasts, celebrations, and of course, lots of gifts. Since pets are part of our families, it’s fun to include them in the celebrations whenever it’s appropriate. Here are five fun ways to make your pet’s holiday merry and bright!
1) Have a Holiday Photo Session. Whether your family is into ugly sweaters, or cute matching outfits, including your animals in your holiday photos can be fun. Consider dressing your pet in a festive holiday bandana, themed collar, or a matching outfit if your pet is willing and receptive). These photos will allow you to cherish the memories of your holiday fun together!
Make sure your pet looks their best on holiday photo day. Schedule a pet pampering groom at any of the following AZPetVet locations.
2) Have a Family Snow Day. Some refreshing playtime in the cold, crisp air will get everyone into the holiday spirit! Pack the car, and head north for a romp in the snow. Manypets, will enjoy running and playing in the magical snow. Don’t forget to bring a coat or sweater to help keep them warm outside, pet snow shoes/boots, plus some cozy towels for drying off after playtime in the snow.
3) Buy or Bake Special Pet Treats: The holidays bring cookie exchanges and lots of tempting treats, most of which are on the no-no list for pets. Whether you’re making them homemade pet-friendly holiday cookies or buying treats from your favorite pet shop, make sure your pet has some savory or sweet holiday treats, too.
You can find a myriad of homemade treat recipes on the internet, but you’ll want to make sure that they don’t contain any inappropriate ingredients (or aren’t too high in calories) for your Individual pet. Be sure to check the recipe with your vet before you get baking!
4) Spoil Them With Gifts. Not that you need a reason, but the holidays provide the perfect no-guilt opportunity to spoil your pets. Gifts of toys, accessories like a new collar or leash, treats, a warm, cozy blanket or a new pet bed will help make their holidays wonderful.
5) Give to Other Animals. Animal shelters and rescues can always use more volunteers, especially during the busy holiday season! Busy holiday schedule, so no time to volunteer? Make a donation of money, food or toys. Each holiday season the AZPetVet family of animal hospitals conducts a Holiday Donation Drive to support local non-profits. This year, we are collecting for GrandPaws Pantry and Helping Hands for Homeless Hounds. You can drop off a donation at any AZPetVet location!
On Saturday, December 7th, the AZPetVet team joined forces with The LovePup Foundation and Maricopa County Animal Care and Control to host the second It’s Hip to Chip Holiday Event. (Learn more and see our first event here!) This event is specifically for local pet parents who already own pets that are not chipped, in an effort to help increase the chances of the reunification of pets with their families in case they are ever separated.
Team AZPetVet was out in full force! Our awesome medical team of the day included 3 veterinarians and 6 techs, checking vitals, administering microchips, and of course, giving some love and puppy kisses along the way. In total, our team microchipped 89 pets in just three hours! That’s pretty incredible!
Afterward, attendees and their pets had the opportunity to stop by our booth to visit with a couple of AZPetVet team members, grab some fun swag, and get their pup a final belly rub for the road! Some additional community partners including The LovePup Foundation, Safeway, and the One Love Pitbull Foundation were also onsite handing out dog food, treats, collars, leashes, and custom identification tags!
Between both of the 2019 Hip to Chip events (May and December 2019), more than 200 pets now have a better chance at being reunited with their families. None of this would have been possible without our wonderful veterinarians, technicians, and support staff. We sincerely thank you for your time and effort in helping to make this happen!
How To Tell If Your Dog or Cat Has Seasonal Allergies
Coughing, runny eyes, and nose, stuffiness and congestion – people agree that
seasonal allergies are miserable! But did you know pets can suffer from seasonal
allergies, too? While it may be surprising, don’t worry. It can be challenging to
recognize when your dog or cat is experiencing seasonal allergies. That’s because
pets with seasonal allergies will exhibit very different symptoms from people.
Knowing the signs of allergies to watch for can help you identify seasonal allergies
with your beloved pet. From there, you can get your furry friend the help
needed so they can enjoy the outdoors in peace.
Here are some general cat and dog allergy symptoms of seasonal allergies to look
● Constant scratching and licking
● Chewing of the paws and pads
● Scratching or rubbing of the face
● Inflamed ears or recurrent ear infections
● Recurrent hot spots in dogs and facial scabs in cats
● Asthma-like wheezing and respiratory problems (more likely in cats)
● Any foul odor from the skin or coat may indicate secondary infections
Seasonal Allergies in Dogs
It is not uncommon for our beloved pups to experience seasonal allergies due to
various allergens in the air. There are many ways to tell if your dog has seasonal
allergies, but the single most common symptom is scratching. Dogs will often chew
on their feet and pads, which is a huge tip-off that they’re dealing with an
environmental allergic reaction to pollen, mold, or dust mites. This condition is
known as allergic dermatitis.
Keep a close eye on specific parts of your dog’s body that will show signs of irritation,
including the paws, face, tummy, ears, and armpits. When a dog has irritated skin,
they can fall into the vicious itch-scratch cycle, which can leave their skin inflamed.
Untreated, allergies can potentially lead to developing hot spots, bleeding, and even
hair loss. Being aware of these common dog allergy symptoms so you can recognize
when your dog needs help.
Seasonal Allergies in Cats
Can cats suffer from seasonal allergies? Yes! Although cats are much less likely to
suffer from seasonal allergies, cats can experience symptoms of seasonal allergies
similar to their dog counterparts. While your cat might sneeze after exploring the
outdoors for a bit, your feline friend’s reaction is more likely due to slight physical
irritation to the pollen in the air. If this happens, you can try to keep your cat inside
on days that have high pollen warnings. To lessen sneezing, you can try leaving your
shoes by the door. Also, remember to wipe your feet on the welcome mat before
entering the house — this simple act helps to reduce the amount of pollen traveling
into your home!
What Causes Seasonal Allergies in Dogs and Cats?
Environmental allergens that are inhaled or come in contact with skin and can cause
irritation are also known as “atopy.” Seasonal examples of atopy include ragweed,
which will usually occur here in Phoenix during the fall months. Reactions to
spring pollens from trees and other plants will most commonly occur during April
and May when trees and flowers are in full bloom.
Although dust mites tend to thrive better in more humid environments, dust mites
in Arizona are not uncommon. If you notice your furry friend suffering from allergy
symptoms, it could be due to dust mites in your own home. While it’s impossible to
rid your home of these pesky, microscopic critters completely, you can reduce the amount of them living with you. Some recommended ways to reduce the number of dust mites in your home include replacing carpet In favor of tile or wood flooring, swapping out upholstered
furniture with alternatives such as leather and wood, and washing bedding on a weekly basis.
There are also many products and treatments available to help ease your cat’s or
dog’s allergy symptoms. Consult your veterinarian to find the best solution for you
and your pet.
Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.