Your pets love you. Instead of flying in for about 5 days this month they are there 24/7. Even when you aren't home, they're anxiously circling the door waiting for your return. Unless you have a cat. Your cat may just be sleeping through the cold.
More than 90% of pet owners get their lovable animal companion a present for the holidays. And the best part? Your pet is going to LOVE anything you get them without hesitation just like they love you. Shopping for your pet should be a more personal experience than swinging through a chain store and in Arizona there are a number of local pet stores to spoil your pet in our Local Business Directory. Three Local Pet Stores even have Buy Local Month specials running to make it even more convenient to spoil your pet:
- Paws On Main in Cottonwood, AZ: Mention Local First Arizona and receive 10% off accessories for pets and their people! (Excludes sale items)
- Noble Beast in Phoenix, AZ: Free Bag of Puppy Belly Deli Veggy & Oat Dog Treats with any purchase over $200. While Supplies Last.
- Happy Trails Barkery, online based in Queen Creek: Use code BUYLOCAL10 for 10% off a website order for healthy dog treats and more.
Besides the anticipated presents, the holidays can be stimulating for pets even if they don't know what's going on. Between the lights, delicious food smells, candles, gift wrap, and holiday guests The Arizona Animal Welfare League & Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (AAWL & SPCA) shared some tips to keep your pets safe around the dinner table this winter:
1. Counter surfing. If you have a canine companion that is tall enough, or one that is creative enough to figure out how to make it work, you need to watch out for some serious counter surfing opportunities on through December (with pies, fancy meats & cheese, and more). Don't forget that our feline pets are almost always agile enough to access kitchen counters. Even pets that don't normally try to get goodies off the counter might find holiday goodies too good to resist.
2. Watch the dinner guests. Make sure that any guests you have over to your home know the house rules with your pets and table scraps.
3. Take out the trash & decorate safely. All that Holiday trash can be very attractive to our pets… including even the trash bag, paper plates, and napkins. If you use tinsel in your decorations, it can be very dangerous for pets if they swallow or try to consume it so hang it high enough out of reach.
4. Keep an eye on the doors. If you plan on having a busy house, make sure to keep doors closed to keep pets indoors and safe.
5. The little guests. If you plan on having children in your home that your pets are not used to, some extra precautions and supervision may be needed. Sometimes kids' quick movements and general excitement can be overwhelming to pets. A little extra attention to the situation can help keep pets and kids safe.
6. Dangerous foods for pets. There are lots of things that we enjoy as humans that are not healthy for our pets, and some can be quite dangerous. Unsafe foods include: Grapes, Raisins, Onions, Leeks, Chives, Chocolate, Bones and turkey legs, Sage, Bread dough, Batter with raw eggs, Macadamia nuts, Rich or spicy foods, and Alcohol.
Finally, we would like to remind families out there that are considering gifting a pet this holiday that adopting a cat, dog, snake, or any animal is a long-term (and sometimes intensive) commitment. The commitment of pet ownership is endlessly rewarding because pets truly do enrich lives but please make sure you know what your new family member is going to require and if you can be a responsible pet owner before bringing Fluffy home.
If you know that you want to fulfill an animal's need for a family and are prepared to provide them with a fantastic life please consider adopting from one of Arizona's Local Shelters. If you are not seeking a new family member this holiday, most shelters have the option for tax-deductible donations so you can still help! Have a happy and safe holiday!