Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Not a Creature was Stirring {pets and the holidays}

Holidays aren't just for the kids!
Our furbabies enjoy the excitement and fun of the Christmas season, too!

Just like their human counterparts,
our pets wake up to find goodies from Santa, too!

So they each have their own stockings...

 (and we always hang the stockings of the ones that are gone 
but remain in our hearts)

I've always loved this photo of Oliver and his sister Angel waiting to open their gifts!

They enjoy the hustle and bustle...
the lights and sounds of the season.

For the cats, it's the joy of sleeping under a freshly cut tree,
the crinkling of wrapping paper...
ribbons and bows to playfully bat at.

Randy waits every year to sleep under the tree throughout December.
Odie waits for his turn to nap under the Christmas tree!

 For our dog, Oliver, it's the smells of good food roasting in the oven,
waiting for a sugar cookie {or two!} to make its way under the table,
the fun of having something to open Christmas morning, 
and pulling dog biscuits off of his homemade 

 doggie advent wreath

I love to bake,
and baking for my pets is no exception!
I make kitty treats and  
homemade doggie biscuits, too!

wrapped in cellophane bags with cute little bows :)

Personalized with their names, of course!

 Just like us, the animals can sense the excitement in the air!
having family and friends over to visit with,
lots of delicious cooking smells emanating from the kitchen...

But the holidays can be a potentially dangerous time for pets.
It's important to adhere to basic safety rules to protect our furry family members,
so they, too, can get the most of this joyous time of year!

Pet Holiday Safety

1. Decorate with carewhile the tree can be an attraction for pets, make sure it can't topple over on them.  Use garland instead of dangerous tinsel that pets can digest.  Don't hang breakable ornaments on lower branches where curious pets might reach them.  Be careful of fallen ornament hooks on the ground, and keep electrical cords and lights out of reach. Stagnant tree water can harbor harmful bacteria.  Be careful about adding tree preservatives to it, too.  If your pet likes to drink from it, consider purchasing a cover to limit their access.

2. Dangers of holiday food: ingesting highly fatty foods is extremely harmful to pets.  Rich, fatty foods can cause stomach upset, or even predispose pets to life-threatening pancreatitis or bloating. Poultry bones can splinter and get stuck in a pet's mouth, obstruct his throat, or perforate his intestines.
Most pet owners don't know that such foods as chocolate, macadamia nuts, raisins and grapes, coffee, alcoholic beverages and even bread dough can be fatal if ingested in quantity by a dog. Be careful not to leave these foods on coffee tables in reach of pets and be sure that the lid on the trash can is well-secured.

Warn family members and guests not to feed holiday foods to your pets. Instead, have a supply of your pets' favorite treats on hand and offer them when others are enjoying all those delicious smelling holiday goodies. 

3.  Choose plants carefully: The poinsettia, though typically thought of as poisonous to pets, is fairly low in toxicity, but can cause digestive upset and irritation to a pet's mouth and stomach.
Holly berries, on the other hand, are extremely toxic when ingested. Just a few berries will cause vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe also causes digestive system upset as well as irregular heartbeats and possibly cardiac shock. Plants like the hibiscus and those in the lily family, which are not toxic to people, may also be harmful to pets, causing digestive system problems and even renal failure.  If you must have these plants in your holiday décor, choose artificial ones to protect your pets. 
4. Other holiday hazards: Children's toys can present a poisoning or choking hazard. Be sure small toy pieces, plastic model cement, crayons and paints are put away or out of reach when not in use. Wrapping paper, ribbon, and tape also represent potential dangers. Remove them as soon as possible.
Never leave lighted candles unattended and be sure they are securely anchored so they won't be dislodged by the swat of a paw or tail. Better yet, only use candles with domes or cylinders that enclose the flame (flameless candles are an excellent pet and child-proof choice!)

5. Preventing the great escape: With holiday guests coming and going, the front door will be opening and closing more than usual. An open door may be too tempting for some pets to resist. Be sure your pets have collars with identification tags - and wear them at all times - in case of an escape.
IF your pet DOES slip out, resist the urge to chase - which will turn it into a game. Instead, encourage him to come back to you by enticing him with a favorite treat.

With a little thought and care, 
you and your pets can enjoy a fun {and safe!} holiday season. 

For more information on keeping your pet safe during the holiday season, visit the ASPCA's website at www.aspca.org or the American Animal Hospital Association's website at www.healthypet.com.


  1. Adorable! I am in love with the cute doggie treats!

  2. Adorable pictures! Great safety tips!!

    We just took Lily and Meatball shopping at Petco tonight and Fred and Barney helped pick out our Christmas tree.

  3. Westies are besties!!! Great ideas and I love watching our Westie, Murphy, open his treat gifts and stocking each year. Merry Christmas!

  4. Great ideas! I love this post. I know all too well the dangers of lily flowers since Whiskers ate some earlier this year. We were so scared we would lose him. I invested in 10 bell ornaments from Pier 1 to hang near the bottom of our tree so Whisk would play with those and not the other ornaments. So far, so good! I love all the pics you shared. The first thing Whiskers did when I put up the tree was lay under it. All my pics are on my cell phone right now! Love the stockings and the treats.

  5. your pets are adorable....i miss going to our aunts home for christmas eve and she lets her old dog open gifts....so cute

  6. I enjoyed seeing all the furbabies enjoying the season and I really believe that they do. One furbaby is getting her do done for Christmas. Oh the things we'll do for a furbaby!


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