Williamstown MA located in Berkshire County and home of Harsch Associates Berkshire Real Estate has a Christmas Tradition which benefits our four footed furry orphans at our local Humane Society. The Williamstown Annual Reindog Parade includes dogs of every size, shape and color who parade in full festive costume down Spring Street along with Santa Claus, pet goats, pony carts and Fire Engines.
This week our staff was discussing last year's parade and our subsequent Utube "Featured Presentation" of the event (Click the photo to see the UTube video) when the subject shifted to holiday safety for pets in and around the home.
We came up with what we like to call the "Top 10" list of pet safety tips that will prevent an emergency trip to the vet. And so we are sharing them with friends in the hope that the holiday will be safer and happier for your pets.
#1. Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree how tempting you can really be.... especially to a puppy or kitten. If you bring in a live tree be sure to keep the water in the base of tree covered. Pine resin and the chemical additives used to extend the life of the tree are dangerous if ingested by a curious or thirsty pet.
#2. Timber is falling all around.... if your curious cat climbs the branches (and what self respecting cat wouldn't climb a tree?) a toppling tower of glass ornaments and electric lights may result in broken glass in delicate paws. Also you will not be as happy redecorating the tree the second time around. Secure that tree to a sturdy object.
#3. Ribbons and Bows and all that Glows.... the temptation to chew on a morsel of ribbon or tinsel can end with intestinal blockage for both dogs and cats. Keep all ribbons and sparkling tinsel up high on the tree and picked up and out of reach of curious pets.
#4. Need we say cats and dogs have exceptionally fine tuned olfactory senses?---- Pets can smell a sausage roll in a gift box under the tree next door in your neighbor's house. Thus leaving gift wrapped food under your own tree is an invitation to a burgular event with intent to assault and devour that delicious morsel in the gift wrapped box.
#5. Electrical cords everywhere and so chewy too!!! Consider spraying the extension and electrical cords with bitter apple to prevent severe mouth burns often seen in curious puppies and kittens around the holiday season.
#6. Flower power.... Poinsettias, holly, mistletoe leaves and lilies can all cause vomiting, diarrhea and in the worst case poisoning resulting in respiratory arrest. Consider silk seriously if you have a bevy of four footed friends.
#7. Guests and pet etiquette. Your pets can be stressed by a crowds of unknown humans gathering to celebrate the season. Pets have acute hearing. The laughter, loud noises and unfamiliar sounds of a party can cause a pet to behave in ways that you may consider bad. Dogs may urinate on furniture as a way to mark territory from what the dog considers an invading hord. Cats may hide for days after such an event frightened that the world is changing. Cats are creatures of habit and having their habitat invaded by many strangers can be shocking to say the least. The best course of action is to kennel your dog and place your cat in the most quiet room in the house where it will feel safely hidden.
#8. DO NOT GIVE A PET as a holiday gift. It should go without saying that shelters are full of pets who started out as a well intentioned gift during the December holiday season, only to be dropped off in February at the Humane Society Shelter because house training, long hours away from home by the owner, and lack of knowledge about the behavior of different breeds results in frustration for the recipient of the well intentioned gift pet. Not a good start to any relationship. Think of it as bringing home a blind date for your best friend and leaving an hour later after you have married your friend and your choice of blind date. Not an attractive prospect is it?
#9. In the Glow of Candles....lurks the potential for burning fur and burning furniture. If you love the ambience created by glowing candles during the holiday season keep a very close eye on swishing dog tails and climbing cats. The best advice is place your glittering firelit candles up high and out of reach of jumpers and swishers. As always close monitoring is needed to prevent holiday tragedy.
#10. Save the Best for Last....Provide your pet with dessert treats created for dog and cat digestive systems. Don't allow your guests and family to feed Fido chocolate, alcohol, garlic, onions or high fat or high sugar food unless you want to deal with diarrhea and vomiting during your next get together with family and friends. Call and ask before bringing your pet as a guest, some home owners have allergies which can be aggravated severely by pet dander of any kind, not to mention possibly triggering an asthmatic attack. Always leave your cat at home since they are not pleased with adventures to strange lands.
The Sales Staff and Office Staff at Harsch Associates Berkshire Real Estate are pet friendly people. We wish you and your four footed furry friends and family members a safe Holiday Season. Our Top 10 Safety tips for Pets will guarantee you will all reach January safely and look forward to the coming romps in the snow!