“Puppies are not stocking stuffers,” proclaims a poster by the American Kennel Club.
The organization suggests wrapping toys or pet supplies for a friend or loved one intent on finding a pooch this holiday season. Then afterward, the owner-to-be can select the breed best suited to his or her lifestyle.
Also, PetSource.org provides the following information to keep pets safe during the coming weeks.
Food and drink safety
Don’t feed your pet human food
Human foods such as turkey, gravy and grease are too rich for pets; feeding them these types of foods can cause health problems. Feed your pet before a holiday party so he will be less likely to beg or steal food.
Never let your pet drink alcohol or coffee
Alcohol can cause serious intoxication in animals. Clean up glasses after holiday parties to prevent accidental ingestion.
Bones are a bad idea
Do not feed your pet bones from your holiday cooking. Poultry bones tend to split easily and can cause severe pain and punctures if swallowed.
Be aware of the trash
To make sure your pet doesn’t get into any potentially harmful food, put all food away immediately after consuming. The garbage contains all kinds of hazardous material, so be sure to pet-proof your trash bin.
Pets feel stress
Holiday guests and activity can be very stressful and frightening to pets. Make sure your pet has a safe place to retreat to inside the house when there are visitors. Also, keep feeding and exercise on a regular maintained schedule.
Make sure that when guests are visiting your home they are careful not to let your pet escape out the front door. Put a sign on the door to remind guests who might not remember to keep the family pet inside. Make sure your pet has proper identification and always keep him on a leash when out and about.
Poisonous holiday plants
While certain plants may make your home look festive for the holidays, many of these plants are very poisonous to pets. Keep ivy, holly and poinsettia plants out of reach.
Never leave lit candles unattended, as pets can easily knock them over and cause a fire or burn themselves.
Keep wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, string and scissors away from pets. Resist the temptation to tie a ribbon around your dog’s or cat’s neck. This may look cute, but can be very dangerous.
Christmas tree safety
Place the Christmas tree in a stable stand to keep it from moving or falling on your pet.
Hang all fragile and treasured ornaments higher up on the tree to avoid breakage and possible consumption. Ingestion of glass ornaments can be fatal. Christmas lights and fixtures should be taped down and cords should be covered to avoid shocks and burns to curious pets.
Decorating the tree with food such as candy canes, gingerbread men or popcorn can be pretty but also dangerous if a pet decides to eat some of it.