The twelve pet tips of Christmas

Published 10:08 pm Saturday, December 19, 2009

Well, since we have the twelve days of Christmas, I thought it would be a good idea to have the twelve pet Tips of Christmas.

In the past I have talked about pet safety for Halloween and Thanksgiving, but as Christmas approaches I think it is important to refresh our memories and be prepared for another major holiday.

The first tip of Christmas is keep hazardous plants away from Fido.

Poinsettias can cause drooling, oral pain, and vomiting.

Mistletoe can cause vomiting, shock, and even death from cardiovascular collapse. Fallen Christmas tree needles are also dangerous and can cause and intestinal blockage, so keep the vacuum handy.

Tip number two is, secure and stabilize the Christmas tree.

Be sure that the tree is properly balanced in the base. If your tree is very large, you may consider securing it to the wall.

If your pet is the rambunctious type, it might be best to purchase a small tree and display it on a tabletop.

The third tip is buy only products that are non-toxic. This should include things like tree water preservative and artificial snow.

Next, decorate your tree with pet friendly decorations. Use only plastic bulbs.

Use string to hang your ornaments instead of hooks. If you have fragile ornaments that you want to display, hang them on the top half of the tree out Fido’s reach.

Tip five: do not decorate with popcorn on a string. Not only does the popcorn arouse Rover’s taste buds, the string will not agree well with him.

Keep burning candles on high shelves is tip number six.

But, be aware that our feline friends are very curious and able to get just about any where so even high areas may not be safe. Consider using battery powered candles as an alternative.

My seventh tip is making sure that electrical cords and extension cords are not accessible to your pet.

Just like the cat on National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, electrocution can easily happen when Felix chews on your Christmas tree’s power cord. Nothing will ruin a holiday quicker than an electrocuted pet.

Tip eight: keep holiday packages out of reach, especially the ones containing food products.

If you have a summer sausage gift set wrapped and under the tree, trust me your four legged pal will find it.

Having a safe place for your pet to go, comes in at tip number nine. This may be a bedroom in the back of the house or may be your pet’s crate. Boarding your pet is another smart option.

If you think that the festivities will be too much for Brutus, make reservations at a pet boarding facility.

Tip number ten, teach your dog manners. It may be too late this Christmas, but teaching your dog some basic obedience will not only make him more confident and well adjusted, it will impress your guest and make their stay more pleasant.

Number eleven; secure Scruffy when your guests are arriving. As people arrive, keep him on a leash or in a fenced area.

Even the most obedient pet can get overly excited with guest arriving. With all the distractions he can easily dart out of the door.

Finally, the twelfth tip of Christmas your groomer gives to you is, monitor the food your pet eats.

Although the temptation is great, you should reserve the Christmas feast for your guest and not Rover.

If you want to give your dog a special meal on Christmas, consider mixing some can food in with his normal food for a holiday flare.

I hope these Twelve Tip of Christmas help make your holiday a safe one. Merry Christmas and remember, every dog deserves to be treated like a show dog.

Tony Barker, The BARKer Shop