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Pet owners must consider pet safety during holidays

Prevent Your Pets from Getting into Holiday Trees, Lights, Wires, and Decorations

By Jeanne Wells, Brand Ambassador

Animal Behavior College

            1. Put the tree up in a pet-free room if possible. Use a fire-resistant artificial tree or opt for a table tree.  Live trees and holiday plants can make pets ill if the needles, tree water, or leaves are ingested.  For a live tree, put foil over the stand and clean up fallen needles.

            2. Keep the tree anchored to a wall & put a fence/puppy playpen around it to keep it from falling. Wrap the base with foil to deter cats from climbing. Keep furniture away as they make good launch points for jumpers.

            3. Pets may see decorations as toys. Do not hang food items such as popcorn, cranberries, or candy canes as such items may entice them.  Refrain from using tinsel.  Keep breakable ornaments at the top, and more durable ornaments at the bottom. Leave heirlooms off of the tree.

            4. For lights & wires, get a cord management system and pet-safe cord protectors.  Wind lights and cords close to the center of the tree.  Tuck cords away and under a tree skirt.  Spray chew deterrents on chewable items.  Don’t leave lights on when unattended.  

            5. Forego ribbons & items that can be swallowed.  Watch out for candles, fire hazards, and other dangers to pets at this festive time.

6.         Provide fun toys to play with to redirect their interest in the décor.

            The best way to modify behavior is through proper training. This includes everything from controlling the dog’s environment, to teaching them acceptable alternative behaviors. 

            While we’re on the topic of training, teaching your dog to listen to commands (AKA cues), makes them easier to take in public and safer around people. 

            For example, instead of a dog that leaps all over people, a real challenge for some during the holidays, imagine if your dog, ran up to a guest and sat obediently in front of them.  This and more is possible with proper training and contrary to myth, it’s never too late.  Yes, you can teach an older dog new tricks.

            If you are interested in becoming a dog trainer, whether it’s to earn part-time income, help shelter dogs find forever homes, or help train your pooch, contact Animal Behavior College and learn more about their dog training program, or one of their many other animal programs. Did you know cats can also be trained?  

            Make your howliday pawsitively furry & bright with Animal Behavior College.  It can be a December to remember if you join ABC now before the rates go up for the new year.

            Anyone from Pickens County, GA who enrolls in one of Animal Behavior College’s main programs will get a Short-Term Program of their choice at no cost. Must be over 18. It cannot be combined with any other offer.

            Use this link for more information and to enroll today:  

            Please mention Pickens County Progress and the special when you sign up to begin your new animal experience.  This offer is good for a limited time only!

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