Dogs really ARE Miracles with Paws!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Humane Holidays


Here are some ways you can make the upcoming holidays more enjoyable for your pets --without compromising safety.


Take your dog for extra walks to relieve holiday stress for you both.

Make sure holiday guests know your pet’s routine and food allowances. Disruptions to either can be upsetting and even unhealthy for animals.

If your pet is shy or nervous, make sure he has a quiet place to sleep and relax during any holiday gatherings at your home.


Dress your pet in costumes that are uncomfortable or hazardous (for example, tying something around a pet’s neck is never a good idea).

Feed your pet turkey bones, gravy or other rich “people foods” that could cause obstructions or indigestion.

Decorate with tempting yet potentially dangerous items, such as tinsel, which could end up impairing a curious pet’s digestion.

Pet costumes at Christmas and other holidays are one of the latest fads. Who can resist dressing up a pet in those cute reindeer antlers?

Before you give in to this fad, make sure your pet can move freely and won’t stumble over a costume that hangs to the ground. And never tie anything around his neck that can choke and strangle him. Opt for a fancy collar instead. Let your pet be the judge. If he struggles and is uncomfortable, then maybe it would be best to let him stay dressed as himself rather than a ghost!


Holidays bring special cards, gifts decorated with ribbons, tinsel or yarn, and special decorations like Christmas trees. Unfortunately, animals appreciate these items, as well -- and many of them can cause serious damage.

Christmas trees

Anchor trees securely. Climbing cats and dogs with wagging tails can knock over your tree.

Hang breakable, glass ornaments well out of reach. The small glass and metal fastenings can be stepped on or even swallowed by your pet.

Keep tinsel, ribbons and garland out of pets’ reach, especially cats that are intrigued by them. These can become lodged in their intestines, cause obstructions and lead to surgery or death.

Clean up pine needles frequently. They can be toxic when eaten by your pet.

Prevent your pet from drinking water in the tree stand if you have added preservative chemicals. These can be poisonous to pets. Also, stagnant water can contain bacteria, which may lead to vomiting and diarrhea if ingested.

Holiday house plants

Although they add a warm touch, many plants can harm your pets. Keep these potentially dangerous bloomers well out of reach.

Lilies can be deadly to cats, and many types can cause cats to have kidney failure.

Poinsettias, although not as toxic as people often think, can upset your pet's digestive system.

Mistletoe, especially the berries, is highly toxic, can cause stomach upset and has the potential to cause fatal heart problems.

Holly can cause vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and lethargy.

Certain types of ivy, such as English ivy, can also cause severe harm.

Amaryllis can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Hibiscus can cause diarrhea.

Lights, candles and fragrance

Keep lights and extension cords safely secured or covered to deter chewing, which can lead to electric shock or even electrocution. Better yet, invest in pet-proof extension cords, or spray with products such as Bitter Apple or Chew Stop.
Candles can be fragrant and enticing to pets. But they can be a fire hazard if knocked over by an exuberant pet, and the fumes can be harmful to birds.

Liquid potpourri and sachets, popular during the holidays, can be very dangerous. Exposure can cause skin or oral damage to your pet and may cause illness or death.


Brenda said...

Great hints for animal mommies and daddys everywhere.

Katya said...

Thank you for this timely advice, Jeanne! It is always wise to review information like this, as we sometimes forget from year to year.

Hugs to your babies from the Bristolwood Scots!!!!

Jennifer said...

Nice post. My husband is a vet and he always sees one or two of those occurrences every year! I think my favorite one was the Christmas eve he had to do emergency surgery on a chocolate lab who had eaten a pair of briefs and one sock. Dog came out of it just fine, but the owner was a mess!

lisaschaos said...

Lots of good advice there. :) I have one pet who wouldn't mind if I put a silly Christmas hat on him, but my little female would not. :)

AFF said...

Very informative, J. Our fur child is rather neglected since her brother arrived - and she let's us know of her jealousy constantly.

ms cute pants said...

Excellent post BB. It's so nice that you took the time out to post this, as you don't see people blogging about this issue often. In fact, it's the first I've ever seen. Your pets are sure to thank you with loads of kisses.

Caroline said...

Great info here! I still don't know why people think it's ok to give dogs turkey bones!