Kids & Pets
August 10, 2020
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Holiday happiness and mishaps

By: Mickey Zeldes
December 14, 2018

By now, for most of you, the tree is up and house is decorated, the cookies are baking and the parties have begun. How are the pets doing with all the changes in the home? Guests coming and going, vacations and school break, lots of cool things in the home to investigate, often leads to accidents and stress. For you and your pets!

There are lots of things to be extra careful about – especially if you have a new kitten or pup in the home, since this is their first holiday season. You’ve heard the old joke about the dog who bragged to his friends that his family gave him an indoor bathroom, referring to the Christmas tree? Well it’s true from the dog’s point of view! And show me the kitten that didn’t think a tree was the coolest thing to climb! All of which can spell disaster – broken ornaments, lights catching fire, pets tangled in cords and tinsel being ingested. It takes some creativity to pet-proof a tree; there’s no simple answer unless you lock it up in a room the pets don’t have access to.

You might not think of the gifts under the tree from an animals’ point of view. No matter how well wrapped food gifts might be they can smell it! Chocolate, especially, is both attractive to dogs and poisonous. Make sure all food items (both gifts and decorations) are kept well out of reach. Speaking of decorations, those holly berries, mistletoe, poinsettias, as well as all candles, should also be kept well away from curious pets.

Although we like to share our holiday indulgences, be aware that too much turkey or ham is as bad for our pets as it is for us. Too many animals end up in the emergency room when they steal the turkey – and suffer for it with pancreatitis or worse. Be aware that garlic and onions are taboo for dogs and cats. It should be obvious that alcohol is bad for pets but even if not given intentionally, cups left out for a morning cleanup can be just too enticing for a naughty pet.

Racking your brains for the perfect gift for your animal-loving friend? Surprising them with a pet might seem like the perfect gift but few things are more personal and really should be picked out by the person who will be living with the animal for the next 10-20 years. We offer a gift certificate (you don’t even have to pay for it – yet) that you can wrap and present and together come pick out the perfect companion. Alternately, how about just donating to your local animal shelter in their name? It’s a super thoughtful gift that doesn’t need daily feeding, is always the right size and matches everyone’s taste! We will send a letter letting the recipient know of your wonderful gift. We also have our wish list available on Amazon, for those of you feeling generous.

The holidays, though, might be the perfect time to add a pet to your own family since the kids are home on school break. All of our animals are dreaming of a home for the holidays and we’re doing what we can to make their dreams come true. Now through the end of the year we are having a name your own price adoption special. We still have kittens and lots of wonderful dogs, cats and rabbit. Come on down and check them out – it can be a fun outing for the whole family.

Upcoming Events

“Get Them Back Home” Campaign – Every lost pet should have a way to get back home. FREE pet ID tag and a back-up microchip are available to all residents of Rohnert Park and Cotati. No appointment necessary, just come by the shelter during our regular open hours: Wed. 1-6:30; Thurs.-Fri.-Sat. 1-5:30; Sun. 1-4:30.

Fix-it Clinics – Free spay and neuters for cats; and $60 dog surgeries (up to 80 lbs.) for low-income Rohnert Park and Cotati residents. Call 588-3531 for an appointment.

Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at