The holiday season can present some unique challenges for pet parents. Seasonal foods, lights and decorations, perhaps even a fragrant and sparkling tree, can prove irresistible to curious cats and dogs. These temptations can pose a real nuisance to pet owners, and a danger to the pets themselves; but how can you enjoy the season without putting your pets at risk?
Here are some typical danger spots, and some proven solutions using Contech technology.
The Christmas Tree
Christmas trees can be nearly impossible for a curious pet to resist; they're bright and intriguing, but loaded with all sorts of dangerous enticements. Long strands of tinsel, if chewed and swallowed, can result in intestinal blockages. Glass ornaments may entice dogs and cats to play, but can easily be broken into dangerous shards. Christmas lights and wiring may be chewed, pulled and stripped, resulting in an electrical hazard, and wrapped gifts, especially food, can present additional hazards (particularly chocolate, and any packaging wrapped in ribbon). Also, if you have a natural tree, the water may look drinkable to your pet, but can contain harmful bacteria.
To minimize the threat of these seasonal enticements, you can designate the tree off limits to pets by placing ScatMat pet training mats around the base, or at the entrance to the room. The ScatMat responds to your pets touch with a mild static sensation (like the static shock you can get from touching a metal doorknob). After a few encounters, cats and dogs will quickly learn to stay away from the area.
Displays on mantels or sideboards
Pets that can reach tabletop displays also pose a hazard, both to your decorations, and themselves. Fine glass ornaments displayed amidst angel hair are a definite enticement, while candles can quickly get out of control if knocked over.
To protect tabletops, ledges and mantels, the StayAway pet deterrent is a versatile solution. Small and portable, just place the StayAway at the approach to the area you want to protect (for example, the spot where kitty jumps to the mantel from the television). When a cat or dog gets within three feet, the StayAway responds with a gentle warning beep, followed by a startling blast of compressed air. After a few times, you can try switching off the compressed air, the beep alone is typically enough to warn pets away. The StayAway is non-flammable, so it's great for keeping pets away from candlelit displays (just keep the can itself away from flames and heat of course), and since it's portable, you can move it around as needed to help keep your cat or dog out of trouble.
Also to keep pets away from windowsills and mantels, there's the ScatMat pet training mat.
Food (on tables, counters or in parcels)
Nobody wants their pets to help themselves uninvited, but as mentioned above, some foods can be a real hazard for cats and dogs. For example, chocolate can be quickly gobbled up, but is also quite toxic to pets. Even centerpieces containing poinsettias, holly, amaryllis, mistletoe or pine needles are at risk of being consumed, and again can be harmful to your pet.
To ensure you food doesn't go to the dogs (or cats), equip the table with a StayAway pet deterrent when you're out of the room, or place a ScatMat pet training mat at the doorway to the room. The Stay Away pet deterrent will help protect an area out to three feet in front of it, and the ScatMat pet training mat can help keep the entire room pet free.
By taking a few simple precautions to counter the risks of holiday attractions, you can ensure a safe and happy holiday season for you and your pets.