10 Ways to Prepare for a New Pet Over the Holidays

10 Ways to Prepare for a New Pet Over the Holidays
The holiday season is a very special time of year, filled with joy and celebration. Decorations are everywhere, families gather together and gifts are exchanged. Typically, the gifts we give and receive are traditional or items like clothing, toys, games and household items. But what if Santa decides to bring a very special gift this year? One that can’t be placed in a box and wrapped with a bow. The kind of gift that won’t be forgotten about or replaced in a few months. What if Santa decides to place a new pet underneath your tree?

Welcoming a new dog or cat into your family can be very exciting, especially during such a cheerful and joyous occasion. But at the same time, it can also be hectic and stressful, especially if you are unprepared. Unlike other holiday gifts, a new pet takes a lot of forethought, planning and preparation. If your new pet is a holiday gift for your family, be sure everyone is on board and prepared for a new addition. Many animal organizations and shelters advise against giving pets as surprise gifts – owning a pet is personal decision that requires commitment and responsibility.

As long as everyone is ready for a new furry family member, this may be the best holiday gift you’ll ever receive (your pet will feel the same way!).

Here are 10 ways to  prepare for a new pet during the holidays.

  • Establish house rules with other members of your household before your new pet arrives. If you wish to restrict your pet from using your furniture, gently and consistently discourage him from doing so. Have a comfortable bed available for your pet and encourage him to use it as a place to relax.
  • Discuss the responsibilities of caring for your pet with other members of your household. Will there be a schedule for dog walking? Will someone feed him in the morning, while someone else feeds him at night? Will everyone be involved with training? If so, discuss the training techniques you’ll use in order to stay consistent.
  • Make training fun for your pet and it will be easier for him to learn. Maintain patience, compassion and respect. This will build confidence and make the training process fun for you both. Always view things from his point of view and you will build a bond with your pet and achieve fantastic results and a lifelong friendship.
  •  If you have children, discuss the dos and don’ts for interacting with your new pet. Jumping and yelling can cause a dog to get upset and sometimes snap, especially if he’s the nervous, so it’s best if your child stays as calm as possible around him, at least until he settles in. Cats prefer to be on the ground so let your child know not to carry your feline around the house. Your child should know not to approach your dog from behind, as it could frighten or startle him.
  • If adopting your pet, ask for his medical records. If your pet is a puppy or kitten, he should have been to a veterinarian at least once. He will also need to visit a veterinarian several times during his first year to receive vaccinations and twice a year after he’s one year old. You will need those vaccinations in order to board your pet while on vacation.
  • If you have other pets in your household, make sure they are up-to-date on their shots and in good health before introducing your new pet.
  • Purchase the important items your new pet will need upon his arrival. A collar and leash, bowls, food and lots of toys and bones are all necessities. If he has toys of his own, he’ll be less likely to play with things that are off limits, like your personal items.  If a new feline friend will be joining your family, have scratching posts and perches available.
  • Just like small children, pets can be very curious. Keep them safe and out of trouble by pet-proofing your home. Place chemicals and harmful substances on high shelves or if they are in low cabinets, use childproof latches. Keep trash cans covered or hidden away. Look for holes and small nooks that your new pet could get himself into and block them. Keep any harmful food out of reach. Put away children’s toys and games, especially small ones that can cause choking. Move electrical and phone wires out of reach of chewing.
  • Upon your pet’s arrival, your house may have some holiday decorations that are hazardous to pets. Tinsel and ornaments, dangling lights, candles, gift wrap ribbon, chocolate, fat trimmings and bones from dinner, and certain nuts can all cause harm to your pet. Also, keep in mind that some holiday plants are poisonous. Christmas tree pine needles, holly, mistletoe and poinsettias are toxic to pets. Be sure to keep all these things away from your new pet, as well as other pets in your house.
  •  When your new pet arrives, try not to pay less attention to your other pets as they may get jealous. Introduce them, let them get to know each other and spend quality time together both outside enjoying walks, in the yard and inside playing with toys.
Bringing a pet into a home is a great joy and all of us at Purr’n Pooch Pet Resorts hope to meet your new family member soon. Plan and prepare correctly and you’ll have started a beautiful friendship this holiday season.

“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” Anatole France.

Pet Safety During the Holidays

Pet Safety During the Holidays -Tips from Purr'n Pooch

For many families, it can be easy to overlook the needs of our pets once the chaos of planning and parties arrives, so we hope you find our tips helpful for staying safe throughout the season. Pet owners can maintain a sense of calm around the home by staying on schedule for feeding times, sleep, exercise and play. Pets can also sense when we are anxious so keeping to their regular routine is key to giving them the reassurance they seek during any new, unfamiliar activity. Whether you’re entertaining at home or traveling for the holidays, you’ll want to avoid some of the dangers that may have you “paws” for alarm instead of enjoying time together as a family.

Beware of the Dangers to Pets During the Holidays

It is the most wonderful time of the year … or is it? While the holidays are a great time to get together with family and friends, the season is also a time of stressful hustle and bustle.  From decorations and parties to holiday travel, November through New Year’s can be a time of big change that tend to turn our pet’s world upside down. For four-legged friends that aren’t used to visitors, holiday gatherings can cause them to become over excited and before you know it your mild mannered pet can turn into a jumping, barking, food grabbing dog. Try introducing your pet to the idea of entertaining by hosting small get-togethers to work on his party manners before the big holiday bash. If your pet still isn’t Mr. Petiquette by party day be sure to set up a safe and peaceful space for him away from the noise and commotion of the holiday gathering complete with water, toys, treats and a bed.

During the holidays, homes also fill with the enticing aromas that come from baking cookies and pies to roasting turkeys. These temptations are hard to resist for anyone, man or pup. While for us the biggest problem might be buttoning our pants after feasting, the repercussions are far more dangerous for our four-legged friends. Veterinarians report higher cases of toxicity during the winter, the result of getting into dangers like baker’s chocolate, artificial sweeteners , table scraps and bones. Keep these dangerous ingredients far from sight and smell and make sure that your guests especially children know not to slip your dog tasty morsels under the holiday table.

For many the holidays aren’t complete until all of the trimmings are displayed around the house. Much of your pretty, shiny decor however attracts cats and dogs and they can suffer injuries such as cuts in their mouths to intestinal blockages from swallowing decorations. Candles and twinkling holiday lights can also cause cause serious dangers. For pets that like to chew, electrical shock can result from gnawing on light wires that run along the floor, tree and windows. Candles should be placed in hard to reach areas as well so that curious pets cannot reach them causing burns or a fire. There are also many toxic holiday plants, which can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, oral irritations, and even death. The most common plants to avoid are holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, and pine needles. Even the single leaf from a lily plant can be lethal to cats.

Holiday Travel Safety for Pets

Many people will take to the highways during the holidays traveling to visit family and friends and often with their pets, which can bring about a whole new set of dangers to consider. Preparation is key to keeping your pet safe and enjoying the open road. Make sure he travels in the car in a crate, microchipped and wearing i.d. tags so that he is protected and found in case of an accident or unexpected car door opening. Don’t forget to pack your pet’s favorite toys, blanket and his regular food. If your pet does not travel well, it’s best to have him stay at a boarding facility that you trust to supervise him 24-hours a day with plenty of exercise and TLC. You’ll rest better knowing he is safe and secure while you travel. If you’re considering a stay at Purr’n Pooch Pet Resorts, reserve your pet’s visit now as our cattery and dog suites book quickly. Our grooming and spa appointments also need reservations.

Once all of the hustle and bustle has calmed down you and your pet can get back to life as normal. Keep in mind that the holidays may be stressful, but they also offer rare opportunities to spend time quality time with your pets. So enjoy those longer walks and extra cuddle time on the couch.

From all of us at Purr’n Pooch Pet Resorts, enjoy a safe and jolly time together.

Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Halloween Pet Safety - Tips from Purr'n Pooch

With Halloween quickly approaching the safety of your children is top of mind. But you should also be aware of the dangers to your other babies as well — the pets. Your family may plan to bring the pups along for some Trick or Treating fun and include them in your howling festivities so you should be mindful of Halloween hazards. Adults and children alike should know the dangers that costumes, noise, candy and decorations pose to our pets.

The Costume
If your dog or cat doesn’t seem to mind dressing up there are plenty of costumes available for purchase and made specifically for pets. From the scariest of ghouls to the cutest fairy princesses, you’ll find the costume that’s just the right fit for your pet’s personality. Some of our favorites over the years have included a pirate, pumpkin, devil, sailor, Princess Leia, and even Huge Hefner. Our Halloween doggie daycare parties are always a blast with a costume contest and games like bob for bones and chase the ghost.

How do you tell if a costume is right for your pet? You can tell if your dog is uncomfortable in his costume when he exhibits certain uncharacteristic behaviors like excessive panting, whining, and cowering. Basically, if your dog acts strange and looks uncomfortable, you’ll want to skip the costume and maybe try sporting something else like creative grooming tattoos or festive fall sweaters, leashes, collars and bows. Purr’n Pooch’s groomers and retail staff can help you to choose the right tattoo design and Halloween accessories for your pet.

And, as far as your cat goes, you’ll know right away if he prefers wearing costumes or not. You may also have the scratch to prove it!

If you’re ambitious and decide to create your own pet costume, avoid using anything that is toxic or hazardous to your friend’s health. Many paints and glues have harsh chemicals that could irritate a pet’s skin, eyes and nose.

Behavior & Identification
If you take your dog out with you to Trick or Treat around the neighborhood, be sure to keep him on leash. If your pet is shy or anxious around people and new experiences, it’s probably best to have him spend time in a quiet space at home or bring him to doggie daycare with friends at Purr’n Pooch for the day. Know his personality and tolerance level before participating in activities that would bring on unwanted behavior such as jumping and barking.

If your scaredy cat or dog is overwhelmed by the frightful faces, costumes, and doorbell ringing, watch him carefully for a sneaky getaway during the flurry of Halloween activity. Before your pet gets spooked and runs away, take precautions to ensure his safe return home by always having him wear ID tags with all of your contact information. Microchips are also great and should your dog lose his tags and be taken to a local shelter or veterinary office and easily scanned for identification.

Halloween Pet Safety - Tips from Purr'n Pooch

Treats & Halloween Decorations
The ASPCA’s Animal Control Center experiences a 39% increase in calls involving poisoning from candy exposure during Halloween. The calls are often cases that could have been avoided if the pet owner was aware of the dangers of Halloween candy and decorations.

Most dog owners know about the hazards of  chocolate and pets, but there is another lesser known and potentially fatal toxin in candy, gum and baked goods called xylitol.  This natural alternative to sugar can send dogs into seizures with just a tiny amount. The actual candy isn’t the only threat, its wrappers can be just as enticing and deadly. Cats love the shiny crinkly wrappers for play, but when ingested the aluminum foil or cellophane can cause intestinal blockages that could lead to death if untreated.

Your dog could also be attracted to your large decorative jack-o’-lanterns on display in your house.  This could mean disaster for your family if the lantern is lit by a candle’s flame and knocked over, causing a house fire or burning your pet. Instead, protect curious paws and your house with LED candles that will not pose a threat to your family.

For the pups in the neighborhood that will be Trick or Treating with their owners, don’t forget to have treats available to handout. And if you’re looking to surprise your pup with an extra special Halloween treat, Fat Murray’s peanut butter mummies and pumpkins are available for $2.25 each at Purr’n Pooch’s retail boutiques in Wall and Tinton Falls, NJ.

Enter the Purr’n Pooch Pet Halloween Photo Costume Contest

Now that we covered the dangers, let’s have a safe, howling good time! Join Purr’n Pooch for a doggie daycare Halloween Party on Thursday, October 31 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The winner of our costume party at daycare will win a hydrotherapy bath. We are also hosting a photo contest on Facebook. Post your pet’s pic on our Facebook wall and enter to win. The pet picture with the most likes by Nov. 15 at 10 p.m. wins a bath!
Have questions about our doggie daycare packages, call Purr’n Pooch Pet Resorts in Tinton Falls at (732) 842-4949 or Wall at (732) 528-8100.