Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe During the Holidays

Holidays can be a ton of fun, but they can also present quite a few dangers for our furry (and non-furry) friends.

So, we’ve got tips to keep your pets safe and happy this holiday season. Check it out:

4 Holiday Pets Safety Tips

The holidays can be a dangerous time of year for your pets.

Pet safety is important!

So, here are some tips to keep your furry loved ones safe this year.

Keep Your Eye on Food

Food is a huge part of the holidays.

Between baking gifts, hosting holiday parties. and receiving edible gifts from others- this is a yummy time of year.

All these holiday treats can be as tempting for your pets as they are for us. Be sure you keep any harmful foods out of reach.

Signs that your pet may have eaten something they shouldn’t have include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drinking, depression, lethargy, coordination issues, or tremors.

If your pet is acting funny and you think they’ve ingested something dangerous, Mission Med Vet is a 24/7 emergency vet hospital in KC.

Below is a list of holiday foods poisonous to dogs and cats:

Foods not suitable for pets include; Alcohol, avocado, chocolate (baking and dark chocolate are the most dangerous), caffeine, citrus, coconut, grapes and raisins, macadamia nuts, dairy, nuts, onions, garlics and chives, raw meat, raw bones or raw eggs, salt, xylitol and yeast dough.

Décor is Dangerous

Holiday decorations and pet safety = sparkly and festive decor becoming a menacing monster in plain sight…waiting to attack your fur babies when your back is turned.

Trees, tinsel, gift wrap, poinsettias, mistletoe, holly, and salt dough ornaments. These are the big hazards for choking, so try to keep them up high.

Christmas trees- Try to keep your pets out of them.

If you have a live tree, be sure to vacuum up any needles that fall so that no one eats them. Keep light cords tucked away.

Tinsel- If you still use tinsel, keep it high. It is bad if ingested. This goes for that tinsel like string popular for gift wrap too.

From personal experience I can tell you, if your cat swallows some, DO NOT pull it out! It can cut and damage their throats and intestines. Cut it close to their mouth if they haven’t had much and call Mission Med Vet immediately.

Poinsettias, mistletoe and holly are all poisonous to animals so be sure to put them where your pets cannot get to them. Finally, salt is very bad for dogs. Be sure to keep those handmade salt dough ornaments way high on the tree, or elsewhere because they can be fatal if ingested.

Pet Hotels Can Help 

Whether you are hosting guests or you are the guest, you may want to consider boarding your pets.

With people coming and going from your home during the holidays, it can be easy for a pet to get out. Or, if your dog gets anxious with lots of people around or with a lot of noise.

Sometimes, it can be easier on them to stay the night at a doggy hotel. If you will not be able to get home to them, due to drinking (please don’t drive) consider boarding, or asking a neighbor to check in.

Weather

As the temperature goes down, it gets dangerous for pets to spend too much time outside.

Make sure you don’t leave your dog or their only source of water outdoors. If you don’t have a heated bowl it can freeze.

Leaving your pets, even in the garage is not a good option. Please make a plan for your pets when figuring out your holiday activities.

Pets are a special part of every family.

With a little planning, they can have a happy and safe holiday season with you and the rest of your family.

We at iPetsKC wish you and your pets a very happy holiday!

You Think You Want a Cat? 5 Adoption Tips To Help You Along The Way

I’ve been a pet lover my entire life. Having grown up with two cats (Snowy, a turkish-van and Smokey, a grey tabby), I found myself missing that part of my life when I moved to Kansas City several years ago. Somewhere between the start of college and the start of my family, I’d convinced myself that I wasn’t the “cat person” (I think it was right around the time that I got my dog – more on her in a later blog post) I’d once claimed to be. Like all true animal lovers, however, I couldn’t escape the call for very long and I found myself longing for that unbreakable bond between woman and cat once more.

So I started spending time at the Great Plains SPCA near my house at first with the intention of simply getting some snuggle time in and giving the cats some love and attention and after several visits I began warming up to the idea of bringing a new pet into the fold at home. My daughter, who was three at the time, was all aboard the Bring Home a New Furry Critter To Love On express and it seemed to be moving full steam ahead. Fast forward nearly three years and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the decision we made to adopt. Bringing Catniss (I did, indeed, re-name my feline family member Catniss) home was one of the best choices we’ve made and I learned a lot throughout our experience that I want to share with you today. Take a look…

Adoption Tips For Cats

Five Adoption Tips For Finding Your Next Cat

#1 Don’t Give Yourself a Deadline

Tip1DontGiveYourselfADeadline

Once we made the decision to go ahead and adopt an animal, we knew we needed to take the time to find the right cat for our family. You might be tempted to give yourself a deadline for finding the right pet for your family. Whether that’s today, next Monday, or two months from now – don’t. Adopting an animal is a lifetime commitment and your job is to make sure that your decision is the right one and that it’s mutually beneficial for both the animal as well as for your family. Giving yourself the freedom of time means that you’re more likely to find an animal that’s the ideal fit for your home.

#2 Involve The Whole Family

Adopting A Pet

It took several trips to the shelter before we connected with Catniss and it was really important to us to have the entire family involved when we ultimately made the decision to adopt her. If you’re venturing out solo on your quest for a new pet pal, be sure to ask the staff at the shelter about placing a hold on an animal that you’re interested in. That will give you the time to get your entire family together to come back for a visit before you make the choice to take your new cat or dog home forever. BC (Before Catniss), I thought I’d found a cat that would be a good fit for our family but when we brought my daughter in for a visit, we discovered that they weren’t a good fit for each other (and that’s okay).

#3 Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Adoption Tips For Cats

I am constantly amazed by the wealth of knowledge over at the SPCA. From the staff to the volunteers, they’re well trained and well equipped to answer your questions on pet care and adoption. One of the things I appreciated most was that our adoption counselor was so patient with us as we asked questions during our visit. We asked questions about her history at the shelter (where she was found, how she got along with other pets, her temperment, etc) and each question was met with a detailed answer that put us at ease as we made the decision to give Catniss a forever home.

I encourage you to do the same. Not all animals are the same and what you see on one single visit to the shelter may not necessarily be indicative that pet’s normal response. The caretakers at the shelter have, more than likely, spent time with the cat and will have a fairly good picture of what you can expect from your new pet.

#4 Go In Prepared  

iPetsKC Tips For Adoption

Once you make the decision to adopt, go ahead and prepare your house and family for the impending arrival of your new pet. Stock up on the essentials to make your new cat’s transition as smooth and streamlined as possible. The last thing you’re going to want to do is make an emergency trip to the store for supplies while your cat explores her new environment. Here’s what we had on hand for Catniss:

  • Litter box (We went ahead and set up the litter box before we ever came home so that we could immediately show Catniss her space in the house.)
  • Fresh food and water in an easily accessible place (It’s important for your new pet to associate you with comfort and safety so we made sure that we had already filled our cat’s water and food bowls before arriving home.)
  • Toys (Cats do best when they’re challenged and have the opportunity to burn off energy. Make sure you have toys on hand for your new pet’s arrival.)
  • Cat treats
  • Carrier

#5 Be Prepared For A World Of Joy

Tips For Adopting A Cat

It goes without saying that your life is going to change once you make the decision to adopt from a shelter and that was definitely true in our situation. Catniss has been an amazing addition to our family and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the decision we made to bring her into our family. Once you do the same – you’re in for a world of joy yourself and we can’t wait to hear about it.

Share your pet adoption stories with us right here on iPetsKC.com.

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