(Photo courtesy: Getty Images)
ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — Lollypop Farm urges pet owners to watch for signs of stress and offers information on how to keep them calm and happy during the holiday season.
The holidays are a time when owners and their pets can experience a lot of stress, and Lollypop wants to help owners avoid unpleasant interactions with furry friends with these five steps:
- Communicate with your guests. Inform your guests ahead of time of any rules you have for your pet, such as no table scraps or waiting at the door to make sure the pet is safely outside.
- Watch your pet’s body language. Pay attention to your pet during gatherings for signs of stress. Stress can cause pets to behave in ways you wouldn’t expect, such as biting or pinching. If your cat is scared, he may hide, hiss, snort, or hold his ears to his head. A dog may be wide-eyed, tense, lick his lips, wag his tail, or pin his ears back if he’s feeling stressed. Know the signs of stress so you can help your pet as needed.
- Provide a safe place for your pets during the party. You can create a room or a separate area in the house for the comfort of pets. This can help your pet avoid too much stress. Even when pets are generally social, your pet’s behavior and desire to interact may change if there are more people than usual.
- Keep an eye on your pet when meeting new people and children. Some pets like their space, so keep that in mind when meeting new people, especially children. Children are the most likely to be bitten by a dog or cat because they may make sudden movements, eat food on the pet’s surface, or not pick up on the pet’s body language before it’s too late. Introduce guests to things pets love, like how they enjoy interacting and what to avoid.
- Watch out for toxins. There are many holiday foods at gatherings, so know which ones your pet should not eat and keep them out of the kitchen and garbage can if necessary. If your pet comes into something they shouldn’t and you’re not sure if it’s poisonous or what to do next, call the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
“Right after the holidays, the Interior Department sees an influx of calls from worried pet owners after a bite incident that took them by surprise,” says Lindsay Cohen, manager of the Animal Intake and Resource Center at Lollipop Farm.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, bites are most likely to occur when animals are frightened, startled or unwell.
Click the link for more information. Here.