Celebrating the Holidays Safely with Our Furry Family Members

From all of us at FAAS, we wish you a joyous holiday season. 
As the holidays approach, many pet parents are looking forward to including their furry family members in their festivities. From holiday decorating to family get-togethers, dogs and cats alike are often part of the joyful celebration. Taking a few tips into consideration will help to keep your pets safe and avoid uninvited consequences during special social gatherings.
For starters, try to keep your pet’s typical eating and exercise habits on track. While it is tempting to slip Fido a piece of cheese or another table scrap, many human foods are unhealthy for pets, especially those with bones or foods that are fatty and spicy. Instead, stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that are stuffed with healthy foods and treats that are digestible. Offer kitty a jingly ball that’s too big to swallow or a stuffed catnip toy. Encouraging pet-loving house guests to pitch in by walking your dog or socializing with your cat during party preparations can offer the extra attention animals need and the added benefit of consistent exercise. 
While seasonal plants and holiday decorations may seem an innocent addition to household ornaments, holly and mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset in pets. And many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats. Cats also seemingly are attracted to the sparkly nature of tinsel which when nibbled on and swallowed can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery.
For those who enjoy decorating with a Christmas tree, it is important to ensure that trees are appropriately secured to avoid toppling over onto curious pets. Additionally, water placed in the Christmas tree stand can become infused with fertilizer over time from the tree’s original harvesting. Tree additives designed to help preserve freshness can also be toxic. Pets that drink water from the stand can end up with an unsettled stomach and possible vomiting. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria and problematic outcomes. 
If you believe that your pet might get into trouble during distracting events, you might want to consider placing him or her in a quiet room, complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Some animals prefer to hide out under a piece of furniture or in their carrying case or kennel away from all of the action. Fearful animals will occasionally look for escape routes, so ensuring that your home is locked up and secured will also help prevent a roaming pet in the middle of the night. In the off-chance your pet does get out, be sure that Fido or Fluffy is licensed and micro-chipped. This will aid in FAAS’ ability to return your pet home swiftly and safely. 
Keeping your pet safe and out of harm’s way is part of what makes celebrating with family all the more special. Following a few helpful tips can aid in avoiding unwelcome consequences and enhancing the holiday experience. 
FAAS 2016 Pet Calendar 
You will not want to miss out on FAAS’ Pet Calendar for 2016. This year’s calendar features a variety of dogs and cats throughout California who participated in FAAS’ annual Cutest Pet Photo Contest. Packed with adorable animal faces, the FAAS calendar makes a great holiday, birthday, or thank you gift. Calendars are $18 each or five for $75, and can be purchased at the Alameda Animal Shelter, Providence Veterinary Hospital & Clinic, Park Centre Animal Hospital, Alameda Pet Hospital, Under One Woof and Alameda Golf Works. Act now as supplies are limited.
Holiday Pet Adoption Strolls: Join in on the fun or be on the look-out for FAAS’ dog parade and caroling team to help find forever homes for the pets living at the shelter. FAAS is hoping to find loving families for our adorable animals this holiday season. The three strolling events will take place on December 12 from 11 am to 1 pm at the South Shore Shopping Center; December 19 from 11 am to 1 pm on Webster Street; and on December 20 from 12 pm to 2 pm on Park Street. Those interested in participating in the dog parade may contact Carla Thornton or Cindy Shelter at 510-337-8565 Wednesday through Saturday.
Wish List
If you shop on Amazon and want to help, there are a number of ways that you can make a difference. Please visit: www.amazon.com/gp/wishlist.Type in “Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter” and it will take you to our recently updated wish list. 

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