Safety tips for your pets during the holidays
And now, some good advice from the Oklahoma State University Veterinarian On Call column:
Q: Is it a good idea to give a pet as a gift?
A: Pets are often given as holiday gifts by well meaning family and friends. The holiday season is often stressful for people and pets alike. Because of the time demands of a new pet, especially a kitten or puppy, this type of gift will only escalate the stress of the season. If you want to give a family member a pet, it’s best to wrap up a book about the pet of choice and present that rather than the actual pet. Select the pet together later, when the family has more time to commit to the love and care of a new pet. Be sure that the recipient has specified the type of pet he/she desires and is prepared to accept the responsibility of caring for that pet.
Q: What about buying presents for pets already in the family?
A: When choosing a toy as a present for your pet, think safety first. Select a toy that your pet can’t chew up or swallow. Make sure the toy is non-toxic and doesn’t have any small parts. Chew toys are good choices because they help prevent periodontal disease in pets. Toys that encourage exercise and owner-pet interaction, like balls, are excellent choices. Once you give your pet a toy, be sure to play with them. The personal attention you give your pets during play time is extremely important for both you and your pet.
Q: What are some other holiday tips for pets?
- A: Holiday lights, ornaments, tinsel, ornament hooks and other beautiful items are very attractive to pets. If a pet chews and/or swallows any of these items, it may damage its mouth and obstruct or perforate the esophagus, stomach, or intestine.
- Lighted candles are very popular during the holidays. If left unattended, a curious pet can burn itself or start a fire. Fireplaces are also hazards for pets. When you start a fire in the fireplace or light a candle, be sure an adult is supervising the beautiful flames.
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