Category Archives: holidays

Including Your Pet in Holiday Traditions

By Julia Williams

I can’t count the times I’ve heard someone say “My pet is definitely a part of the family.” Some people, myself included, even say that the pet is “like a child” to them. No, that doesn’t mean we think they are children. We know the difference between human offspring and pets. Yet there are also many similarities between raising kids and raising pets. There’s no reason our pets can’t be an integral part of our family unit, and what better time to strengthen that special human-animal bond than during the holiday season?

For many of us, the holiday season is filled with family traditions – activities and events that make this magical time of the year a pure delight for kids and parents alike. That’s all well and good, but if your dog or cat is a part of your family, why not think of some ways you can include them in your favorite holiday traditions?

Fido and Fluffy might not know what the holiday season is all about, but they do know they love you and enjoy the time you spend with them. Isn’t that what counts? Our pets probably won’t get miffed if there are no gifts for them under the tree and no stocking hung by the chimney with care, but what harm does it do to include them? None at all! Plus, including the family pets in your holiday plans can create some wonderful, happy memories for your family.

Below are some ways you can make the holiday season fun for your pet. But don’t stop there! I’m certain that with a little thought, almost any tradition your family enjoys during this time of year can be modified to include your four legged family member. Although it may not make a big difference to your dog or cat, it can give you and your children treasured memories that will last a lifetime.

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10 Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Your Dog

By Laurie Darroch

To many dog owners, their beloved four-legged babies are just as much a family member as any human. Dogs may not realize what Christmas is all about, but they can sense the excitement and see the changes around them in the decorations. It is fun to include your pet in the holiday celebrations. Why not hang a stocking for your canine family member and make sure Santa fills it with some special surprises!

Balls – Choose balls that are dog friendly and safe. Rubber balls designed specifically for dogs are a good option. Tennis balls are very popular with dogs, and pet stores even have scented varieties in flavors like peanut butter.

Chew Toys – Not every chew toy is dog safe. Some dogs can rip apart chew toys that are made for a smaller dog. Choose accordingly, with tougher toys for stronger dogs.

Bubbles – Buy or make non-toxic bubbles and have fun playing with your dog. Battery powered bubble blowers work particularly well in dispensing the bubbles quickly for your dog to chase. It is great exercise, too!

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Christmas Safety for Dogs

By Bear, canine guest blogger

Hi all, it’s me Bear. I’m taking over the post today so Mommy can work on getting ready for the holidays. She discovered that she is the only person in town who doesn’t decorate on the weekend after Thanksgiving, so today she’s crawling around in the attic pulling out decorations and cleaning the house.

I love the flashing lights and the yummy smells of the holidays, but there are some things that responsible pet owners need to know about the dangers of Christmas for their dogs. So I’m here to give y’all a little rundown and some warnings that will help all you doggy Mommies and Daddies keep my canine pals happy and healthy this Christmas.

Poinsettias

Those really pretty flowers that appear around the holidays and make your holiday décor really pop are also really bad for dogs (and cats). We dogs don’t usually go around chewing house plants like those silly cats do, but sometimes we do like to check things out. The sap from poinsettias is very irritating to our mouths and stomachs and can make us really sick. You don’t want to have to clean up doggie vomit under your Christmas tree, do you? Keep poinsettias up high and make sure that you pick up the little seeds and leaves that fall off of them.

There are actually a lot of flowers and plants that are poisonous to dogs and cats; you may as well check out the list and make sure that no matter what time of year it is, you aren’t unintentionally exposing your furry friends to danger.

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Thanksgiving from a Cat’s Perspective

By Rocky Williams, feline guest blogger

Some people might say that cats aren’t thankful for anything, because felines are all haughty creatures who think they’re entitled to everything and don’t appreciate stuff. Pshaw, I say!! It’s true we cats do think the world is our oyster and humans were put here to do our bidding (they were, right?) but we also recognize that it doesn’t always work out that way.

For sure, every kitty deserves a warm home with a loving family, lots of yummy food and treats (CANIDAE for me!), endless hours of head scritchin’ and petting, plenty of toys and catnip, and a comfy place to snooze the day away. But just because every kitty deserves all of those things does not mean we all have them.  Just like there are less fortunate humans who don’t have some of the things that make for a safe and happy life, so too are there kitties without the things that make us purr with contentment.

So when you all sit down to your Thanksgiving feast tomorrow and go round the table expressing your gratitude for this and that, you should know that your kitty is doing the same thing. Now, to the untrained eye – i.e. every human – it may look like all we’re doing is sleeping, hiding under the bed or calculating the risk/reward of stealing a nice big hunk of your juicy turkey. But that’s just our façade. Our Outward Kitty, if you will. You see, we put on a pretense because we don’t need people thinking that felines have gone all soft on ya’ll. But the truth is, we have always been soft. And I’m not just talking about our fur.

Every kitty who has it good, definitely knows and appreciates this. Despite whatever vibes Outward Kitty might be giving out, make no mistake that Inward Kitty (our true self) is thankful to be inside where it’s warm and cozy. Inward Kitty is thankful there is at least one special person willing to go to great lengths to make sure he’s well fed and well loved every day of the year. Inward Kitty is thankful that he knows what it’s like to feel truly safe.

Inward Kitty understands that he is one of the lucky ones, and although he may at times take certain things for granted (such as that bite of turkey you’re going to slip him under the table when you think no one is looking) he knows he is very blessed to have found you and saved you from a dreary cat-less life.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

~Love and Kitty Licks,
Rocky

Read more articles by Rocky Williams

How to Make Holidays Special for Your Pet

By Linda Cole

Thanksgiving and Christmas are fast approaching. There’s cooking, baking and shopping that needs to be done before we can relax and enjoy the holiday season with our family and friends. With all the running around to buy groceries, decorations and presents, and making sure everything is in order, some pets can feel a little left out. Your focus may not be on them as much as usual, but you can still make the holidays special for your pet without a lot of expense. Here are some suggestions:

Maintain their daily schedule

With all of the hustle and bustle before and during the holidays, your pet’s daily routine can be disrupted. However, deviating from a pet’s feeding schedule, walks and even playtime can cause them to become anxious. They like to know what’s next and they don’t like change, so keep their daily routine as regular as possible.

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Have a Safe and Happy 4th of July!

By Julia Williams

On Independence Day, most people don’t bat an eye when they hear the pop-pop-pop sound of firecrackers going off all day long, or the thunderous boom of fireworks at night. Not me. As a “parent” of three cats who are terrified of those loud noises, I cringe when I see the garishly decorated fireworks stands popping up on every corner.

I dread July 4th and especially nightfall, because I live right across the street from where my town sets off their fireworks display. Those loud booms are unsettling for me; I can only imagine how scary they are for my pets, who have no idea what those noises mean. Are we being invaded? Is the world ending? Where can I hide? At that first boom, my skittish kitties make a beeline for UTB (under the bed) and I usually don’t see them until morning.

It’s made me something of a curmudgeon, hating the Fourth of July when I should be joyously and noisily celebrating freedom and independence like everyone else. Yet, more pets go missing on July 4th than any other day of the year, says the popular adoption site, Petfinder. Emergency pet hospitals also see an upswing of visits.

So while it’s nice to enjoy the backyard barbecues, picnics in the park and fireworks that have become an American tradition on the Fourth, responsible pet owners also need to take precautions to keep their four-legged family members safe (and as stress-free as possible).

Don’t take Fido to the fireworks display. This noisy, crowded scene can create anxiety and aggression in even the calmest of canines.

If you plan to set off personal fireworks, be sure to keep your dog in a safe location away from the display. Too many dogs have already been burned and otherwise injured by fireworks; it’s just not worth the risk.

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