Keep Your Pets Safe This Holiday!

tips for bet ownersThe holidays are time of joy and sharing, but we need to be careful with what we share with our four legged and furry friends – some things we take for granted could actually be dangerous for them! Nothing can ruin a pleasant gathering like having to rush one of our little friends off to the pet emergency room — IF you can find one open!

Here are some great tips to help keep your pets safe during the holiday season:

No Bones About It!
Turkey bones – fish and other bird bones – can splinter and have jagged sharp edges. These types of bones can cut or puncture your pets insides. Besides that a lot of people don’t think about table scraps, but fact is human food can increase your pets chances of pancreatitis.

Sugar Free Baked Goods
While better for out waistline these foods can be dangerous for dogs! Many sugar free baked goods contain the artificial sweetener xylitol, which can cause dangerous drops in blood pressure and damage your pets liver. Be on the look out if your dog seems particular lethargic.

Chocolate
This delightful sweet is definitely a no go for dogs, especially dark chocolate. While it varies in every animal it’s best to simply avoid giving any to them at all – or make sure it’s beyond their reach. Chocolate overdose can lead to serious upset tummy at the very least, or even death if eaten in large quantity!

Oh oh the Mistletoe!
Despite popular belief poinsettias and Christmas cactus are fairly harmless to pets, however it ingested they can cause irritation in the mouth and stomach, especially in cats. Other traditional plants like mistletoe and holly however can be highly toxic if consumed. Most animals will naturally avoid holly, but in some cases having a new plant in the house can rouse their curiosity.

Tinsel Hung With Care
Shiny and flashy cats are the biggest ones to watch around tinsel. It’s ok to let them play with these things if you are watching them but be very careful about wrapping pets up in ribbons as it can present a choking hazard if the animal panics or play gets too rough. Make sure you’re pets aren’t let unsupervised with the shiny stuff as it can be a tempting treat to chew on; this can cause stomach obstruction.

Electrical Cords
For whatever reasons pets seem to love electrical cords – especially young cats and pups. Chewing on these cords is of course a dangerous shock hazard! Make sure you tuck away any extra cords you are using – or cover them with cloth or tape to help keep your fuzzy family members from thinking you’ve given them a great new snack!

I want your family to be safe and happy this holiday – including the littlest members of the family too! We’ve had a wonderful year and truly feel blessed to have gotten to share our joys with you; hope you will feel free to share your happy times with us as well! Hop on over to my Facebook Fan Page and tell me what you are doing to make this season special!

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Deck Your Boise Home With LIGHT!

holidaysChristmas lights are a thing of beauty, brightening our holiday with their cheerful glow; raising our spirits high…unless you are the poor guy who has to deal with actually getting those lights up (and back down!) each year. Here are just a few tips to help make this ritual of the season a little less stressful!

Safety first.
Emergency rooms are filled with well meaning lightsmiths every year who lose the battle with their ladders, or who have other light hanging related injuries every year! Never hang lights alone, make sure your ladder is secure; it wouldn’t hurt to have someone down below to hold it!

Cordage.
If you’re going to splurge on fancy lights spend that extra couple of dollars for decent heavy duty extension cords! This can help avoid circuit overloading; be sure to only link FIVE strings of lights together before connecting them to the power.

LED Lights.
Everyone knows LED’s are a greener solution, but did you know they can use up to 90% less energy and last almost 10 times longer than regular lights? You can also safely string more strands of this type of light together, the only downside is they tend to not be quite as bright as traditional lights.

Don’t Procrastinate.
If it’s Easter; and you’re lights are still up it’s likely too late! Take lights down sooner than later to avoid excess damage from sun, rain, and snow. The longer you leave lights out in the elements the sooner you’ll need to replace them.

Get Attached.
Permanent light attachments save time and trouble each year. If you generally will be hanging your lights the same way from year to year these are a great investment as you won’t have to bother with a staple or tack system.

Have a Ball.
It may sound counterproductive but many believe the best way to store your Christmas lights to it ball them up. Wrap them five times in one direction, then turn the ball 90 degrees around and repeat. Also, store your lights in a cardboard box rather than a plastic bag – cardboard will help absorb any excess moisture rather than hold it in like plastic will.

Need a place to hang your lights?! You’re in luck – I can help you find just the right winter wonderland to call your own! You can find any home in Boise or in the Southwest Idaho region right on my website. Go there to start finding homes now!