Filed under: Holidays, Uncategorized | Tags: chevy chase, christmas, family, holidays, national lampoon's christmas vacation, neurotic pet owners, pet safety, Singamajigs, thanksgiving, visiting relatives, Xbox Kinect
The TSA is feeling people up, the commercials for 3 am doorbusters are on loop (“Mountain series. Level 10. Backwards.”), and weird weather has unleashed itself on all corners of the country. This can only mean one thing: the holidays are upon us!
Amidst the shopping lists, relatives filing in from far-flung places, and attempts to impress the in-laws, we can’t forget to do some deliberate planning to make sure our pets are safe and sound this season. You’ve spent all year being good so you can get the XBox Kinect and a trio of Singamajigs; you don’t want to blow it right at the end because you killed Fluffy.
We’ve put together a little list to help you avoid the guilt that comes with being a neglectful parent (though we can’t do anything about the kind your mother will heap on you; sorry), so have at it!
Joking aside, pet safety is definitely an important and serious matter, and if you take a few minutes now to think about things, you can make the holidays happy and safe for everyone.
- Resist the urge to let the little ones join in on the feast. They might be pretty successful in convincing you that they haven’t eaten in months with one pathetic look. Believe me, you’re the one who’ll be looking pathetic when you’re dealing with explosive diarrhea and projectile vomiting while trying to get dessert on the table. Worst case scenario, little Kali could end up with a pancreatitis attack, which can be fatal. Between the sudden diet change and the massive amounts of fat, holiday meals are just plain toxic (and they’re bad news for pets, too).
- That goes for bones. Though they are oh-so-savory and delicious, they are just plain dangerous. They can splinter and puncture your poor little guy’s insides (that’s assuming he gets it all the way down and doesn’t choke on it first). Unless you have a Brontosaurus femur hiding in the back of your freezer, bones are a no-no. Not every pooch or feline (or bunny or snake or bird or pot-bellied pig) will be as lucky as ol’ Snot in National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation. Instead, give them something that’s designed specifically for your type of pet.
- Snot’s got another little example of what not to do–and that’s the classic trash can rifle maneuver. Things are going to be a little crazy, and the last thing you need is a redecorated kitchen à la garbage (very urban, but not so chic), which is bound to happen if you leave your pets unattended around the amazing smells of leftovers that are wafting just at their nose level. Though it certainly led to much hilarity and hijinks in the movie, I doubt Chevy Chase will be sitting at your holiday table so the humor will just be completely lost on everyone except maybe the cat who tore into that sweet-smelling abyss of carcasses and casseroles. You might as well bite the bullet, throw on a coat, and traipse outside to take the trash out right away and just head that little nightmare off at the pass. You have permission to gloat as you pass your pet on the way out.
- Speaking of the way out, if your pet likes to play welcome wagon and greet all visitors, make sure you have a tight grip on him as people come and go. Also be sure to keep a collar with current ID tag on at all times, in case he gets you back for that little move you made with the trash and darts.
- Another thing you can consider doing for people who haven’t met your pets before is provide them with a little tip sheet via email, like I did. Now, yours doesn’t have to be a 6 paragraph essay that details each pet’s personality (yes, I’ll admit it–I’m a little neurotic), but a few pointers sent ahead of time like “don’t bend down to pet Sammy; let her come to you” or “if you value your hands, don’t stick them in Piko’s cage” will go a long way. Luckily, my family is full of dog people and they understand my neurosis, so the email generated quite a fun thread of discussion that I was included on, instead of secretive “reply-all-except-take-Sarah-off” responses or sudden declined invitations. Now, I know that while the intros won’t feature any sort of polished choreography, I they will be as stress-less as possible.
- You might also want to set up a few extra beds or quiet areas in the corners of various rooms for your pets. Their usual favorite spots might be overwrought with relatives you don’t like and that weird neighbor you had to invite because you borrowed his electric mixer. Consider also getting some extra toys or something new to occupy your companions while they wait for the party to clear out (who says you can’t buy love?).
- Don’t forget about their regular needs. I know this sounds totally basic, but I’ve gone to many a party where I’ve seen dry water bowls or stares locked on the food bag because their owners are too caught up to remember their routine. To avoid guests going rogue and giving your pet the entire bag out of guilt (like I’ve been known to do), maybe set a timer or put it on your list to feed your pets, take them to the bathroom, and check their water frequently.
This isn’t an end-all-be-all list. It’s just meant as a little primer to get your wheels turning. If you have a tip or idea you want to share, feel free to comment; we’d love to hear from you–especially if you can work a movie reference into it.
Be safe out there and happy holidays from all of us at Bark!
So I have a confession to make….apparently I missed out on a little phenomenon called Dark Crystal. Never saw it and had no idea what Bethanie and Sarah were talking about when they started calling cute little Annabelle “Fizzgig”. After doing some research, I must say the resemblance is striking. For the full effect you have to imagine Annabelle making this surreal purring noise as her mom rubs her cheeks to elicit the “fizzgig face”. HAHAHAHA I was laughing so hard I could hardly take the photo!
Fizgig or Annabelle?
The Howliday shoots are complete….I think we ended up with a total of 15 clients in two days! Now in the process of editing all these photos and wanted to share Lola with you. She’s a 10 year old weimaraner, but boy you wouldn’t know it! She is totally high energy and full of life. She has the most beautiful coat and I absolutely loved photographing her!
Look who made the LAist philanthropist gift guide! So excited to be mentioned on LAist along with all these other cool gifts/services/products!
Check out the write up here…
I’m totally getting the “pocket scarf”!