Things change when holidays come around, and Easter is no ... New people come to your house with strange things, routines change, you get more tired, and pay less ... and your animal com
Things change when holidays come around, and Easter is no exception. New people come to your house with strange things, routines change, you get more tired, and pay less attention, and your animal companion may be exposed to a wider age range of people companions.
All these things can confuse your animal companion causing them to do things they ordinarily wouldn’t do, and also bring harm to themselves.
Since it has been my fate to learn from experience, sometimes vicariously, sometimes straight-on, I’ll include examples which I hope this article will keep you from having to experience.
1.Keep careful track of visitors’ possessions.
People bring all sorts of things in their suitcases and purses, like nitroglycerine and sleeping pills. Keep purses and luggage up off the floor, and in the case of cats, closed and latched.
Or you’ll end up at the vet’s, as I did one year, when Thisbe smelled chocolate (Ex Lax) in my mother’s suitcase and ingested enough to kill her, said the vet, who was surprised she survived.
2.Pay close attention to the Easter candy and other gifts.
CHOCOLATE IS A SPECIAL DANGER. IT CONTAINS THEOBROMINE WHICH IS POISONOUS TO ANIMALS.
People wrap food dogs can smell that you can’t, but then again it doesn’t have to be food. Chucky tore open packages of bath powder, perfume and bath salts as well. If you catch Fido nosing around, remove the package to somewhere safe.
3. Keep your animal companion on their regular regime and diet.
Don’t, like me, carve the lamb roast tossing the fat down to Shy Nell, then carry it in to the table, begin the feast, and have Shy Nell enter the dining room and proceed to vomit it all up, sending one of your guests to the restroom. Try working that into the dinner table conversation!
4.Protect your animal companion from new people and vice versa.
Guests can agitate and excite your pet so they get in trouble, do bizarre things, and also harm people.
There are people like me who don’t know what they’re doing, stick their hand in the bird cage to acquaint themselves with your Macaw, and … “the Macaw uses its bill to score and then, in steel-cutter fashion, shear the nuts in two so cleanly that the cut surfaces resemble the work of a metal-cutting saw or laser …” and it’s ho-ho-ho, off to the emergency room we go.
5.Don’t let your pet eat all gifts that are presented!
The houseguest from hell, I brought homemade dog biscuits for my relative’s Labs, which they duly ate … and we were all up all night as the dogs struggled with fulminating diarrhea.
6.If you animal is excitable, soothe him or her, or remove them if necessary, giving them a special place in the house where they can have quiet time.
7.Protect your animal from young children.
They can poke eyes, pull ears, plop down on stomachs, beat their backs with toys, and generally provoke the gentlest of dogs.
8.Guard against escapes!
Weejums who lived with us for a while, was always looking for his chance to escape, and the holidays were the most exciting time of the year for the little rascal. Oh the opportunities! If you have such a knave in your house, make sure they have their tags, and explain to the kids and to houseguests, to please take care about the front door.
9. Talk to your houseguests, who are more under your “control,” and keep your eye out for your other guests.
Or your pet companion may end up with an injured tail and bad memories like Muff Tuff, who was sleeping near the rocking chair; or a temporarily injured paw like Stan-the-Man, who got stepped on by someone wearing bifocals. 10.Talk to your animal companion – with soothing tones when needed, but also clear commands, so they know the rules still apply.
Use visual “communication” as well, as your animal companion is deeply attuned to you.
BOTTOM LINE: You’re busier and preoccupied, things change, it’s a good time to stop and think, for the safety of your animal companion. They’re counting on you!