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A Pet-Friendly Present: Holiday Gift Safety Tips for Your Four-Legged Family Member

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

With the holidays just around the corner and shopping in full effect you’re probably checking your list twice to make sure everyone you love is covered. As avid pet parents, there’s a good chance that your Milo and Otis have made the list and you’ll be keeping an eye open for a few new presents this year. When picking for your pets, however, you’ll want to make sure everything they receive is good for their health, as well as their spirits. Here are a couple pet present safety tips.

Be very careful with edible gifts. Before purchasing any gourmet kitty or doggy treats be sure to research the brands and make sure there haven’t been any owner complaints or recalls. Also, be sure to only allow pets small, test samples of treats once you’ve approved your choice, just to make sure that they agree with your pet’s digestive system. If it is at all possible, run a couple options past your vet, or even ask for their recommendations of pet treats and products that they use with their own pets.

Giving the gift of activity to your pet will more likely help them, rather than hinder. Take for instance your usually-sedentary feline friends; consider allowing Santa to bring them a new cat-tunnel or climbing tree. Check out the latest smaller scale toys, such as catnip crumples (sheets of paper made from catnip that you can ball up and let them have a blast) or mechanized mice to send them scurrying across the floor. Always do a little Googling when picking out new items, to make sure that all seems to be safe and well reviewed, but adding a little life and movement to a lazy pet’s day is well worth the effort.

Pick proven pet toys that should match your animal’s destructive ways. There are many different pet personalities when it comes to toys; I've had dogs and cats that treat their toys like their children, cuddling them at night, and I've had a dog who can rip through the most indestructible toy in seconds flat. Toys for pets are much like for children; even though they’ll likely be broken, the child or pet enjoys every moment they have with them. Do a little research, ask for recommendations, and pick out a couple, safe items that will last with your pet, giving them lasting joy. If you have a cuddler, chances are good that anything you bring home will be loved. If you have a little wrecking ball…you have a little trial & error and research ahead of you!

When bringing home your pet present, especially anything edible, be careful of where they are stored up until the gift giving begins. I have my own fond memories of my dog marching out of the gift closet with her head held high because she found her gifts and helped herself to them a little early…the problem was that she trampled everyone else’s gift along the way. To keep your presents and pups safe store their gifts in unreachable locations, preferably separated from any other, breakable gifts. Also, if you have a pet who will search their gift out, the best bet isn't to wrap it. Wrapping paper and ribbons can be hazardous to a pet’s health if swallowed.

Long Island Pets Articles > A Pet-Friendly Present: Holiday Gift Safety Tips for Your Four-Legged Family Member

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