How to Have a Fun and Safe Holiday With Pets in Your Pet-Friendly DC Apartment

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Pet-Friendly DC Apartment cat

There’s nothing like cozying up to your cat or dog during the holidays–and when you live in a pet-friendly DC apartment, there’s so much to look forward to.

However, when it’s your first holiday with a new pet, there are so many things to look out for! You want to have a stress-free holiday, but often, your pet isn’t on the same page. Here are a few things for you to remember so that you and your pet can enjoy fun and safe holidays this year.

Forgo the Figgy Pudding

Everyone knows that chocolate is super dangerous for dogs to ingest. But did you know that those raisins you’re snacking on could also be deadly? Here are some common holiday foods to look out for. Keep these items out of reach this year:

  • Turkey bones
  • Chocolate and candy (especially those sweetened with Xylitol)
  • Coffee and caffeinated tea
  • Alcohol
  • Seasonings: onion powder, garlic, salt
  • Raisins
  • Walnuts
  • Yeast Dough

That doesn’t mean your dog has to stick to boring old kibble while you feast on holiday fare. Try giving them safe holiday-themed treats, or make your own! But proceed with caution–there’s nothing like an upset stomach to ruin the holidays for your furry friend.

Deck the Halls (Not Your Pets)

When it comes to holiday decor, there are so many hazards, it’s hard to just pick a few! Let’s start off with some basics:

Keep candles away from pets. You see a lit Hanukkah menorah. Your pet sees something shiny and potentially fun to play with. This is something we try to remember year-round as dog owners, but it’s particularly dangerous if you’re a fan of those sweet holiday scents. Your pet probably won’t realize that your “pumpkin pie” scented candle isn’t a yummy slice of pumpkin pie.

Practice tree safety. Secure your fresh tree, and keep ornaments away from the bottom. Make sure nothing on your tree is edible (adios, popcorn and cranberry garlands!) or smells enticing to pets. Oh, and the tree water is not great for your pet to consume, as commercially-bought trees often use pesticides. Better yet, put up a barrier (child gates work) around the tree. It may not keep out the cats, but it’s a good precaution.

Hide cords. Most of us who’ve lost our phone charging cord to a pet (RIP) know the importance of hiding cords. For those of us who haven’t experienced such a loss, just know that you can’t leave extension cords out in the open–it could result in electrocution at worst, and at best, constant cord replacements.

Don’t put Poinsettias on the floor. Or any plant, to be safe. Pets love chewing on almost anything–and they won’t be able to tell the difference between toxic plants and safe plants.

After this long list of don’ts, we have a big DO that should help: give your best bud a lot of attention this year. Cuddles, exercise, and training can go a long way in keeping your pet on the “nice” list.

Keep Them Dashing

On that note, take your dog to a dog run where they can get their energy out, or take them to a trainer in town so you can have a stronger relationship (and they’ll be less likely to ignore your commands). The less energy your dog has, the less you’ll have to keep them out of trouble!

Cats are a little easier–just get out a laser, and watch them chase it  until they’re exhausted. Fish are the easiest of all. Just don’t do anything. (That’s why they’re  always on the nice list.)

Let Dreams of Sugarplums Dance in Their Heads

Remember the beginning of the classic Christmas poem? The part about nobody in the house stirring, not even a mouse? Well, it’s time to take that poem seriously. During the holidays, it’s especially important that your pet gets some rest and sticks to his regular routine.

That way, you can avoid the stomach upset and strange behavior (anyone ever had their cat ask for food at 4 am after a long night?) that occurs after big changes. Let your pet R & R when they need it, even if it’s in the middle of a party.

Wrap Presents with Care

Tinsel. Ribbon. Bows. DANGER.

OK, “danger” isn’t something you usually associate with the first three words. But if you have a pet, you should! Cats and dogs who get ahold of these items can get tangled, trapped, or choke on them. If they somehow get them down, they can result in stomach obstructions.

Wrap your presents on the table, not on the floor, and don’t leave supplies unattended. Oh, and we hate to say it, but if you have a tree, it’s not best to leave your presents under it, particularly if they have perfume or anything that smells edible in them.

That doesn’t mean your pet has to be empty handed during Hannukah or Christmas! Get them their own pet-friendly holiday gifts to open with you. Head up to PetMAC (4914 Wisconsin Ave NW) to see what’s in season.

Keep the Doc’s Phone Number Handy

When you live next to the Friendship Hospital for Animals, this one’s simple. Keep the phone number (202) 363-7300 in your phone, and you’ll be all set for a safe holiday with your pets.

Want to live in pet-friendly luxury apartments in DC that love your pet as much as you do? Tenley View is the place to be. Get in touch with us today and find out more!


Image: Flickr via diamondace

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