Category Archives: Christmas

A Pet Version of "The Night Before Christmas"

By Linda Cole

It’s the night before Christmas, the house is all quiet. That fat man who falls down the chimney is near. He steals through the house, grabbing cookies and milk. But not this year – not while I’m here. A right jolly old man, as the story goes, who has reindeer as pets; one with a big red nose that shines through the night, showing Santa the way with an eerie (and unearthly!) magical glow.

He creeps through the house in the dark of the night. Dressed all in red, BOL, what a funny sight. I’m watching and ready this year when he comes. That plate full of cookies will be mine this night. You know who I mean, he’s a plump little fellow. Rosy cheeks, and belly shaking just like Jello. He swoops down the chimney with a bag full of loot, yelling Ho Ho Ho in a booming bellow.

I’m on the job, patrolling my home and guarding my humans as they dream in their beds. But just in case I get tired this night, I’ve enlisted some help from a cat friend named Fred. Oh Fred, stay on your toes, he’ll be coming soon. Fred! Stop playing, leave that poor mouse alone. I told you no playing, and you promised to be good. What did you say? You don’t like my tone?

And then it happened, as quick as can be. A noise on the roof – Fred, that fat man is here. Scoot to your post, as fast as you can. Now where did Fred go? He’s disappeared. I hear a noise from behind the couch, a muffled meow in the quiet old house. Well hello Fred. Why are you tied? What’s that you say, it was a ninja mouse!

Just then from the chimney came a noise up above. Forget that mouse, and hide over there. A cloud of soot suddenly appears, catching Fred by surprise who stops with a bewildered stare. My plan will fail if Santa sees Fred! I must spring to action; there’s no time for delay. I quickly grab Fred by the nap of his neck, but he doesn’t budge. Fred, how much do you weigh?

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Hilarious and Heartwarming Holiday Pet Stories

Kim’s cat Libby

By Tamara McRill

What pet owner doesn’t have at least a few sweet or silly holiday memories spun from the antics of our fur children? Whether it’s the loving holiday traditions we carry out with our pets through the years or singular events that warm our hearts and uplift our spirits, these all become cherished stories. The best tales are meant to be shared, so I thought I would ask my friends about their favorite holiday memories starring their cats and dogs. Here’s what they had to share:

Kitty and Kiddie Sneak Peek

What’s a mom to do when the cat and children are in collusion to catch a glimpse of the gifts? Kim Morgan shares how her adopted feral cat Liberty, aka Libby, “helps” her spread the joy of the season:

“My kids want me to wrap their presents and put them under the tree early, because they know there’s a good chance the cat will tear the wrapping to shreds and they’ll get to see what they’re getting,” said Kim. “This Christmas, it’s already happened twice.”

Reindeer…err…Puppy Games

Santa’s not the only one watching to see if all little puppies are being good for Christmas, but that didn’t stop Linda Wolke’s Dachshund mix, Puppy, from trying to get his mom to join in a little holiday play. Puppy would tug his mother Rusty’s chain and try to drag her into a fun scrap. But Puppy must have known who was handing out the stockings in his house, because every time Linda would look out the window, he would stop and act like a perfect angel.

O Christmas Tree…

Kerri’s former dog Cody

How tempting you can be. Especially when all those brightly colored packages are piled up underneath. That goes double when they are under someone else’s tree. Kerri Hollingsworth shared how her former dog Cody, (now mine), took all the surprise out of Christmas one year. The  Australian Shepherd and Blue Heeler mix had a grand time unwrapping all the gifts under her sister’s tree – including her sister’s new PlayStation.

They laughingly made a quick getaway, but it’s not like the tree is any safer at her home, thanks to her cat. Like most kitties, Nala considers the tree her private Christmas playhouse. It’s too bad it gets infested with garland, which she – of course –  does her best to “exterminate.”

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How to Keep Your Dog Out of the Christmas Presents

By Tamara McRill

One of the greatest pleasures on Christmas morning is watching someone you love excitedly shred wrapping paper to get to the gift you picked out just for them. Except, of course, when that someone you love is your dog and those weren’t his presents. Nor is it Christmas yet. There’s no denying that some dogs just can’t resist the temptation of brightly wrapped packages and just have to go investigating.

So how do you keep your furry present-wrecker from getting into the gifts? Like most things canine, it depends on your dog, and one solution does not fit all. But here are some tips to try, most of which have worked for me in the past:

Reinforce Verbally and Redirect

Sometimes what should be the easiest thing to do can be the hardest. Every time your dog starts nosing around the presents, it is important to firmly tell them “no,” “stop” or whichever halting command is familiar to them. No matter how cute they look amongst the packages, don’t take the time to snap a photo or go get people to see.

Yes, I know it’s hard. I epically fail at this almost once a season. But if you don’t tell your dog no every time they get near your gifts, they will get the impression that it’s sometimes okay to go investigating. And we all know what an expensive mess that can lead to.

Not only should you verbally stop your dog when they take an interest in the presents, but you should also redirect them to do something else. Have them sit, go fetch something or any other activity. This gives them a defined course of action to take, hopefully getting their mind off of your pretty packages.

Fence the Tree

While I have had good luck (mainly in spite of myself and thanks to good dogs) with stopping and redirecting, sometimes that’s just not enough – especially if you can’t be there 24/7 to guard the gifts or you have an extremely willful dog. That’s when you have to get proactive on ways to keep your dog from the presents.

One way is to fence off the tree. Your dog can’t mess with what they can’t get to, right? Some people use baby gates around the Christmas tree for this purpose. I’m not a huge fan of how the taller ones block the tree from being seen, but there are alternatives. One is to use smaller garden fencing – decorated, of course – or run a working train track around the tree.

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Is Your Pet on Santa’s “Naughty” or “Nice” List?

By Tamara McRill

Has your pet been good enough this year to merit a Christmas gift? Or has your fur baby been bratty enough for you to consider leaving their stocking unstuffed? Since it’s the holiday season, I thought it would be fun to ask other pet owners what their dogs and cats have done this year to land them a spot on Santa’s naughty or nice list, and what their pets should expect to find under the tree. After making a list and checking it twice, here are some of the stories pet owners shared:

Small Niceties 

Many people couldn’t think of one spectacularly naughty or nice thing their pets did this year, but spoke of the small things that made them deserving of Christmas gifts. Like Laura Gill, who bragged about her Golden Retriever Nikki not barking for the past week. Anyone who is trying to teach a dog to be a little less vocal can probably appreciate the quiet time. For her good behavior, Nikki will be getting a bone for Christmas.

For Goodness’ Sake

Sometimes it takes the thoughtless behavior of us humans to point out how good our pets really are. Rissa Watkins shared this story about her dog Mocha, an Aussie Shepherd/Chow mix:

“He has been a good dog this year. Someone closed the door, blocking the doggie door. Poor Mocha cried and ran around and acted strange. This went on for a few hours. I got home and realized the door was closed and let him out. Poor boy desperately held it instead of going inside.”

Will Mocha be rewarded by Santa for his good deed? “Heck yeah, he has his own stocking,” said Rissa. “He will also be getting a new bed.”

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Be a Secret Santa for a Needy Pet this Christmas

By Tamara McRill

In my house, we’re big believers that the joy of the holidays isn’t just reserved for the special people in our lives. We like to extend the love and gift giving to their pets and even have friends that do the same for ours. But this year I’ve been thinking about those pets that don’t have the benefit of a loving circle of friends or our friends who may not be able to afford gifts for the pets they adore. Instead of feeling sad about this, I’ve decided to start a new holiday tradition. This Christmas we are going to become Secret Santas to some less fortunate pets in our community, and you can too!

Here are a few considerations and tips you can use to help out needy pets this holiday season:

Being a Secret Santa to Pets You Know

We’re no strangers to the sleuthing it takes to give the perfect gifts to needy pets that we know. It’s usually not hard to get fellow pet lovers to open up about their fur babies. Some details you may want to ask (or fish for depending on the person’s pride):

– What types of toys does your pet like to play with?
– Which toys aren’t a match for his jaws or personality?
– Is your pet supervised with toys?
– What kind of treats does your pet like best?
– Is there anything your pet needs or could use replacing?
– Does your pet have any phobias?

These questions are important, because you don’t want your being a Secret Santa to turn into a trip to the vet for the pet. The power of a dog’s jaws and how often they tear things up are crucial to the type of toys and even food dishes you consider giving as presents. Some dogs – like my chocolate lab Wuppy – have powerful chompers that destroy most dog toys. Even most of the super durable kinds. Most toys pose a choking hazard for my dog if they aren’t taken away as soon as he goes out of play mode and into destruction mode. Other dogs – and most cats – are kinder to their toys and don’t require that high level of supervision.

Finding out a pet’s phobias may seem like a strange thing to ask regarding a Christmas present, but there are actually lots of pets out there who have a strong aversion to common things. I’ve had a wonderful, but picky, white cat who wouldn’t sit on anything not – you guessed it – white. So a different color pet bed would have been a waste on her. I’ve also known dogs who were afraid of balls!

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Season’s Greetings From CANIDAE!

All of us here at the Responsible Pet Ownership Blog and CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods would like to extend our warmest wishes to all of you and your pets for a Joyous Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!
pictured: From Left Top: Jason, Julie, Carl, Diane, Sarah, Mike. Bottom: Kristine, Johnny, Lois, Beth, “baby” Autumn

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.