Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Safety Tips for Pets

With Christmas just a short 2-1/2 weeks away, we ask that you please keep your pets in mind.

Pets do not understand the holidays we celebrate. They do understand our behavior changes, more people coming and going changes in their living areas with new shiny decorations they may see as toys or something really cool to taste. Food left out from candies, sweets and big meals to decorations, packages and wrappings, as well as plants such as poinsettias. These items and more can cause serious harm to your pets.

Remember MOST plants are poisonous to pets.
Here is the number for pet poison control: 800-213-6680
They also have a smartphone app Pet Poison Helpline
Here is a link to their website:

The app is great. I downloaded it today. On Apple's App Store, it costs $1.99. It seems to be worth it. It has a list of items that are poisonous in alphabetical order with an alphabet list on the right side for easy alpha access. You can also do a search by poison. It has instructions on what to do, as well as a "call now" button to the poison center. When you select a poison, it will bring you to a screen with info on it. It will tell you which animals it affects by word & silhouette. It gives symptoms & descriptions. It also provides a photo of the poison. This is helpful when dealing with plants, foods and medications.

Items that your pet may come into contact with that can cause health concerns for pets:
Turkey bones
Glass ornaments
Christmas trees
Snow globes
ALL electrical decorations
Opening/closing doors
much, much more…

Remember, your guests are NOT responsible for YOUR pets!

Pets should be kept in a closed off, quiet room far from the activity for peace and safety. If pets are allowed to mingle with guests, be sure someone is in charge of keeping all doors that lead to the outdoors closed. Fearful pets will run outside. Make sure pets have ID tags in case the worse case scenario happens.

Remind your guests NOT to feed your pets. Guests may not know pets can not have certain foods or maybe a pet is on a specific diet due to health such as diabetes. They may not know which foods are poisonous. best to just ask them not to feed the pets. At the very least, it creates bad manners in the pets and promotes begging.

Cats have been known to try to climb Christmas trees and topple them. Trees with glass ornaments can cause potential damage by pets walking on or swallowing broken pieces. Dogs, and some cats that still spray, may urinate on real trees. With electrical lights on trees, this can cause a serious electrical concern. Cats are attracted to the sparkling allure of tinsel & garland. They will try to chew on or eat them causing obstruction. Like string, tinsel can cause many hazards in the gastrointestinal tract. Pets may also try to drink the water for a real Christmas tree, as well as chew on or eat the needles which can puncture their insides. If you opt for a real tree, be sure the area around the tree is kept clean from fallen needles.

Cats sometimes do not make distinction between potted plants and litter boxes. Many plants, such as Poinsettia, Holly & Mistletoe, are poisonous to pets. Please keep these plants out of the reach of pets.

A little known fact is snow globes oftentimes contain antifreeze, which is deadly to pets.

Candles, obviously, should not be left unattended when pets are around. Cats have been known to curiously knock down burning candles. Dogs can easily brush against a table knocking down burning candles either by rattling the furniture or with a wagging tail.

If you are going to be away, please remember to make plans for your pets. If you are taking them with you, make sure your pet will be welcome and observe house rules & etiquette of your host. You and your pet are their guest. Clean up after your pet & keep your pet under control. Do not allow your pet to run through their home or be destructive. Be prepared to clean the backyard of potty places. If you leave your pets at home for a short amount of time, a couple hours, be sure they have fresh water and cannot be injured or become ill feasting on your decorations or food. If you leave your pets for an extended amount of time, many hours or days, be prepared to have a sitter over, family/friend check on them or board them. In any case, make sure professionals (boarding places & sitters) are licensed and bonded for safety and insurance purposes. Make sure you leave explicit instructions with anyone who is caring for your pet. If the pet is on medication, has certain dietary concerns, etc., be sure those caring for your pet are fully aware of all your concerns and put it in writing. Go over it with them. Be sure to provide medications, if necessary.

And, of course, remember pets are NOT gifts. If you are considering giving a pet as a gift, be sure the recipient wants a pet and is capable of caring for the pet. Speak with the recipient & include them in the adoption process. Gift certificates fro pets or pet supplies is a better find under the tree than an unexpected box full of a live, breathing, furry pet.

Obviously, there is so much more to consider, but these are just some pointers and reminders.

Keep your pets in mind this Christmas season; so, everyone on 2 legs and 4 can enjoy this happy, joyful season.

Please share with your family & friends.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Special Thanks to Lyn

I have updated my blog! Whew!

Stayed up 'til all hours of the night fiddlin' with this and that. I can't believe what just a little tinkering can do.

I hadn't fiddled with it in a long time because I wasn't sure of all the changes blogger had made, but now that I have... boy, I could stay up all night doing this! OK, I am getting very tired though; so, I am going to have to call it a night... well, maybe a morning. It is 4:30am.

I just want to thank Lyn Yildi who talked me through some things earlier this afternoon... um... now, yesterday afternoon. Regardless, a special thanks to Lyn, your a sweetheart!

You can shop her store on Addoway by clicking here Turkish Market USA

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

West Paw Designs® Chew Toy Test

There has been a lot of talk lately about bringing jobs back “home” to the United States. Jobs have been lost for many reasons recently. Jobs have been lost for many reasons over the last couple decades to foreign countries. Jobs gone overseas... China, Indonesia, India, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, Mexico, etc. Everywhere you look products sold in many stores have labels which state “Made in ____”. You fill in the blank. People want manufacturing brought back to the United States. People want to buy products that have labels which state “Made in the USA” or “Made in America”.
How many people remember when Sam Walton bragged he stocked his store with American made products. Now, one is hard pressed to find an item that is American made in the store that bears his name. In fact, the store is now known for its unAmerican cheap imported products. Sad. I’m sure Sam would not be happy about that.
Well, Paws4Critters Pet Stuff is dedicated to bringing American made pet products to pet lovers.
Recently, I ordered some American made chew toys from one of our suppliers, West Paw Designs® , for some of my own dogs. I can happily report the dog that loves to chew, Shasta, loves the new toys! She plays with them daily. When they have been picked up, she will hunt for them and steal them from wherever they have been placed. I really need to teach her to stay off the counters! I also tested the stuffable toys, the Tux® and the Twiz®. I stuffed each one with treats & used squeeze cheese to top them off. You can use peanut butter, too. Be sure if your dog has special dietary requirements to only stuff toys with what your dog can have. If you are not sure, please consult your vet.
West Paw Designs®  Zogoflex® toys are:
  • “guaranteed to last”
  • 100% recyclable
  • non-toxic
  • float
  • dishwasher safe
They are good for chewing, bouncing & floating in the pool. Some are even great for stuffing and tug-o-war.
Some of the Zogoflex®  toys I ordered and tested from West Paw Designs® are:
  • Hurley® (bone shaped - can be fetched or just chewed on and all around great fun)
  • Tux® (stuffable & chewed on and all around great fun)
  • Jive® (ball - can be fetched and bounced and all around great fun)
  • Twiz® (stuffable & chewed on, fetched and all around great fun)
  • Bumi® (the “u” is a long “u” as in Boomerang. it’s “s” shaped and can be thrown like a frisbee or used as a tug toy and all around great fun)
Here are a couple pics of Shasta playing with...
West Paw Designs® Hurley®

West Paw Designs® Tux®

Here’s a video of Shasta playing with the West Paw Designs® Bumi®

Here's a video of Shasta fetching the West Paw Designs® Jive® Ball 

My hope is to help this great American company, which manufactures American made pet products in Bozeman, Montana with American workers, get their products out to American pet lovers who want to buy American, who don’t want to worry about where their pet products are made or what they are made with.
West Paw Designs®  also offers soft, stuffed pet toys for dogs & cats, pet bedding, clothing and more. They use recyclable materials and recycled/reclaimed materials. Please browse Paws4Critters Pet Stuff for great West Paw Designs®  pet stuff. If previous link does not work, please visit or
Please remember...
Support your neighbors... support your country... bring jobs back to America... keep jobs in America... BUY AMERICAN!
Thanks for reading, browsing, shopping!
Please feel free to comment.
All "likes", "tweets", "shares", etc. are most appreciated!
Paws4Critters Pet Stuff

Monday, April 9, 2012

Shasta Myst is on Facebook!

Hi, I'm Shasta. My full name is Shasta Myst. I told Robyn, she's the one who cares fur me, I wanted to be on facebook; so, my fwiends who like to read m'blog didn't have to wait 'til I wrote another one. I'm so glad she agreed to start me my own page. Now I can post pics of me an' m'fwiends.

I tried to git the name Shasta on Facebook, but it wuz no longer there. Sooo, I went wif my full name, Shasta Myst. I'm named for the Shasta mountains and cuz I got a mist of a creamy color to my whiteness, Myst was added.

Robyn wuz my furst fan... not just in real life, but on Facebook, too! Now, I got a few fans. If you want to follow the world famous woof, Shasta Myst, come on over to

Hopin' to see y'all there. Got lotsa pics posted of me an' my fwiends and even a story of me going to PetSmart recently.

If ya like my page and you know someone else who also might like it, please spread the word... or bark, whine, whimper... or however you git your message across!

Thanks fur all the likes!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Critter Christmas by Shasta

Christmas started just like any other day. I had no idea what wuz gonna happen. I knew everyone stayed up late wrapping toys in paper. I don’t know why cuz we wuz just gonna rip’em open in a few hours.

After breakfast, Robyn went out and fed d’feral cats & Buck, d’bunny wabbit. When she came back in, she went into d’bathroom t’get d’wrapped packages of toys… like we didn’t know what wuz in’em.

Out she came wif these packages. I saw Hershey get excited; so, I started t’get excited. Robyn had 5 packages in her arms and d’video camera in her hand. She has this thing wif cameras… weird!

Robyn placed all d’packages on one of d’tables in d’living room beside d’sofa. No not d’table I tore into on Christmas Eve when they went t’Christmas Eve Mass. She has that on video too ya’know. I can’t believe it. She posted that t’YouTube and her Facebook page. I do hope other doggies get t’see it. Hee hee! Psst… if you got a doggie, let’em watch it. It’s about 4 minutes long, but it’s non stop action… guaranteed!

So, anywoof, after Robyn placed d’packages on d’table, she would pick one up and call out our names. One by one. I wuz not furst. I don’t know why I wuz not furst. I am d’baby; I shoulda been furst. No, Hershey wuz furst. Pro’bly cuz he’s oldest.

Hershey took his present and laid down on d’floor wif it. He started t’tear into d’paper. I watched t’see what he did; so, I’d know what t’do when it wuz my turn. Robyn went through all 5 of us doggies, and we all went to a spot on d’floor and started ripping into our presents. Well, Tiffany & Cody didn’t. They are a little more nervous than the rest of us. Robyn had t’open Tiffany’s and give her d’toys. Cody had t’have his present opened fur him too. I needed no help wif mine. I know exactly how t’tear into things.

Once d’presents were open, oh boy, did we have fun. I got 2 hedgehog toys. One made a funny pig like noise and a squeak! It’s head even rattled. It wuz great! The other one had 12 squeakers in it! WOW! I like squeakers. Squeak… squeak… squeak… hee hee

Hershey got one wif 12 squeakers, too. Robyn wanted to see how long it took fur him to get all d’squeakers out… 15 minutes later he had about half of’em out. He sniffs’em out and bites’em out. He’s good. I can learn sooo much from him. He’s m’hero. He also got a Bumble. A Bumble is an abom’nable snowman from Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. Bumble’s bounce and so do Hersheys; so, Robyn got’em a stuffed Bumble. He had d’squeaker in that out early on, too! I helped t’tear up d’Bumble afterwards. We tore all d’arms an’legs off. Now d’cats play wif d’arms an’legs. We had so much fun!

Chico got a couple of tiny little sock monkeys. He played wif’em, flipped’em around and had a good ol’time. He looked more like a puppy playing than a 13 year old Chihuahua!

Cody wuz nervous. He didn’t play too much right away, but after a while, he started to figure out what to do. See, it wuzn’t just my furst Christmas; it wuz pro’bly Cody’s, too, cuz he wuz stray.

Tiffany just likes to lay wif her toys. She’s a very nervous doggie, too, and she never learned how to play wif toys when she wuz a pup.

After all d’toys wuz played wif, it started t’get onto being suppertime. Robyn made lots of great smelling stuff. After they ate, we got t’have some. Italian Pot Roast… have I mentioned how I really like beef? I wish they had sum cows.

Oh, We got to see cows on New Years Day. We went fur a ride. I didn’t see cows; all I could see is Italian Pot Roast walkin’ around! It wuz makin’ me hungry.

OK, back t’Christmas… d’cats got sum inneresting stuff. They got a crinkle sack. They were crawling inside it an’rubbin’ all over it like they wuz on drugs. Robyn says d’cat toy people put catnip in everything; she says it’s like a drug to d’kitties. They sure did act weird! I tried t’help’em play wif their toys, but Robyn kept telling me “no” and taking’em away. Them cat toys had feathers attached to’em even. That was very inneresting.

Oh, speaking of feathers… I started this year off with catching me a bird! Robyn wuz not happy ‘bout that. She made me drop it. It was already dead; what dif’rence did it make? She took it an’buried it in d’St Francis Pet Cemetery out back. Don’t know why; I coulda buried it… in me. People are strange critters!

Well, I think my furst Christmas was great! I had lotsa fun, and I didn’t get any coal like Robyn said I wuz gonna get! I think she wuz bluffin’.

Now, I can’t wait fur snow! Robyn says they usually get it once a season. I don’t know what they’re seasoning, but I just wanna see lotsa snow. We got a dusting of snow in December, but it wuz practically nuffin. I wanna see lotsa snow. Robyn hates snow. I think it’d be fun. Robyn says if it snows, she’s gonna have to take pictures. Always wif d’camera! She has definitely got a problem, an’ she thinks I got a problem just cause I tore up d’stupid ‘polstered table.

Here's sum more videos of sum of us doggies an' sum of d'kitties playin' wif our Christmas presents. Sum of'em are reeeeal short; so, don't blink!

 Hershey with his Bumble

Cody with his toys

Shasta with one of her Hedgehog toys

It's a Cat House Christmas

It's still a Cat House Christmas

Jake in a Sack

And that's how The Critter Gang celebrated Christmas!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Christmas that Almost Wasn't


Tuesday, December 20, 2011 almost ended any happiness that would have been this Christmas.
I had to go to Sherman, Texas for some last minute grocery shopping needs before Christmas. Mom stayed home with the critters. It should have been an easy task, as it usually is. Not this time.
Shasta was in the yard when I left. She watched me through the gate as I pulled away. Like the other dogs, she bolted to the other side of the yard to watch me as I pulled out of the driveway and headed towards Sherman.
After I got to Sherman, I made 2 stops... the Catholic church to deliver a couple of Christmas presents and the post office.
I, then, headed to PetSmart to pick up another dog bed and some cat beds they had on sale still, as well as some litter and food. While there, I got some toys for the cats and a few more for the dogs.

As I got in line at the check out, I got a call from Mom. I listened to her still calming down from a frightful experience...

Shasta got out of the yard.

I asked if she wanted me to come home. She said no; she had managed to catch her, as she called to her and she came.

She put her back in the yard, but she got out again. This time she saw her do it. She squeezed between the house and the fence post. She didn't know how she was fitting, as the space looked too thin.

I told her I would try to hurry, but I had to go to Sam's, Kroger & Walmart, which I dreaded. Things moved along, but seemed to me to be taking forever. As the time passed and more and more people seemed to be out Christmas shopping, I felt like I was getting nowhere, and was nervous as to how things were going at home.

Then, the worst call came while I was at Walmart picking out a birthday card for Mom...

Mom called... Shasta was out of the yard again. She had gone out with her this time to watch her, but she was faster than Mom. She squeezed out and started running. The land is 2 acres, which doesn't seem too large until you are chasing a dog or walking it when you are in pain. Mom walks with a cane and a walker. She was smart this time and took her cane and a coat with her to watch her. She had no treats to entice her with, though, and no leash. Her collar was not on her, as this was the first time she had ever gotten out of the yard.

Sherman is 20 minutes from home doing 70 mph. I told her I would leave and come home. She told me no, just finish; she'd do the best she could.

She was crying. I felt helpless.

Here's my near 68 year old mother, who has been told she needs knee replacements, but refuses to get them because she's afraid, out chasing my 9 month old puppy across 2 acres of land... barb wire barricades 2 sides and horse fence barricades the 3rd side. Wild berry vine bushes with thorns, prickly pear cactus and briar vines with large thorns is everywhere. In some places, there are thickets of trees & poison oak. Mom followed her back as far as she could go. Shasta kept going... through the barb wire fence and through a pasture and to the other side of a line of trees out of sight. That's when Mom called me while I was at Walmart. She was so upset because she thought she lost my puppy. I was upset because I knew Mom couldn't walk that well and to know she was traipsing all over chasing her. I wasn't there to help and Shasta was out of her sight. I was afraid for Mom getting hurt, and I was afraid of losing Shasta.

I called our neighbor. He was still at work, but his girlfriend and his son were home. He asked them to go over to help.
Mom managed to get Shasta to start heading back to her, but Shasta was distracted by a pond... in she went... belly deep!

My neighbors made it back to Mom and tried to help catch Shasta. They all chased her back up to the house. When they got back to the house, Shasta was back in the yard, as my neighbors saw her escape again as they approached. Luckily the three of them were able to corral her at the spot where she got out, and she squeezed back in. None of them could figure how she got out.

I got a call from my neighbor as I got to the truck after checking out at Walmart. I was so panicked I was shaking. He calmly asked, "did you here?" I thought he was going to say Mom fell and got hurt or Shasta ran out in the street and got hit by a car... the street is a 70 mph highway, which was extremely busy just before Christmas and at 4-5pm. No. Shasta was back in the yard. Whew!

After loading the groceries in the truck, I got a call from Mom. I told her I heard from our neighbor already. I asked how she was. She was still shaken and now, she realized, terribly scratched from all the thorns of the berry vine bushes. I told her to wash her legs well and put antibiotics on them because I always get infections from them dadgum thorns. She has problems with her legs with cellulitis, diabetes, as well as she has to watch infections since they removed lymph nodes when she had breast cancer.

When I got home, I looked at the fence. I figured out how she was getting out. The house is a mobile home. The skirting or under pinning is flexible. She was able to push against it, pushing it in, to fit her body between it and the fence post. I tried the best I could to block it off. I, then, took her out on a long training leash I have every time she needed to go out until my brother could do something more permanent with the area.

Both, Mom and I, learned something the Tuesday before Christmas...

After Maverick died this past June, we didn't expect to get another dog. We still had the three we had with Maverick and Copper before they died plus the one that wandered up after Copper died. So, we still had 4 dogs. The only reason we got Shasta 3 days after Maverick died was because we didn't want to miss out on an opportunity to, once again, have a wolf hybrid.

Here we are 6 months later, and we realized we love her... hook, line & sinker! We realized we would have been devastated if something happened to her or if we lost her. We realized, with Christmas presents waiting for her and a new video camera just dying to film it, it would not have been a very merry or happy Christmas without her.

The fence has been modified, but my trust in Shasta is still shaken. I don't leave her outside for long periods of time without checking on her. OK, I am neurotic; I check on her often!

Shasta's first Christmas was a good one. I think I got a little bit of video, but I have to go through it. I hope to be able to sit down with her and write her blog recounting her first Christmas for next week.

Shasta jumping on the "scaredy hole" to play with Cody.
The "scaredy hole" is the underground tornado shelter.

Shasta & Cody playing on top of the "scaredy hole".

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pets at Christmas: Tips Pt 2

Christmas trees, Christmas lights & cords, tinsel, ornaments, mistletoe, poinsettias, Christmas presents, ribbons, bows, paper, food, hot ovens/stoves, lots of people, laughter and loud noise… these are all parts of the Christmas celebration. These all present issues for pets at Christmas time, regardless of whether the pet is new or been around a while.

Adopting a Pet for Christmas
A lot of children ask for pets for Christmas. Be it a puppy, a kitten, a bunny or a pony, its part of childhood. Parents have many times satisfied these cries for a Christmas pet by actually following through. In some cases, people also feel the urge to get Christmas pets for people other than children… girlfriends, boyfriends, parents or other loved ones. What people do not take into consideration is whether the recipient of the Christmas pet can care for the pet or even wants the pet. Sometimes people say they want, but do they, really?

People advertise Christmas litters of puppies or kittens… ready in time for Christmas. Should you visit these people?

Even shelters and rescues bump up their advertising for Christmas hoping to find the perfect home for strays knowing full well a lot of these pets will be back. Should you take these organizations up on their offers?

I will answer these questions later.

Apache, a Catahoula Leopard Dog,
at Red River SPCA in Cooke County, Texas

Here are some tips regarding giving pets at Christmastime.

  1. Consult the recipient of your gift. Be it children or adults. Pets should never be a surprise. If the recipient is another adult who does not live with you, ALWAYS discuss the gift of a pet with them. They may not be able to care for it or want it as much as you think they would.
  2. Make sure the recipient is capable of caring for a pet. Financially, mentally & physically. Pets are like a member of the family. They are not throwaways. Just as you would not discard your child or parent, you should not discard a pet. They have needs… food, toys, grooming, medical, etc. and your time. Be sure the monetary cost is in your budget, as well as having the time to spend with the pet.
  3. If the recipient is a child, REMEMBER the child is NOT ultimately responsible for the pet. The parents are! If the child loses interest and no longer takes care of the pet, the adult(s) is/are responsible for the pet.
  4. Do your research! These tips are great even if it is not Christmas.
    1. What is the best type of pet for your family? Dog? Cat? Maybe something else?
    2. Research dog breeds, sizes, etc. If you live in an apartment, a Dalmatian is NOT the right choice. They are large high energy dogs who do not do well in small places. If you have small children, some small breeds like Italian Greyhounds are very fragile and can be injured easily.
    3. Again research cat breeds. Siamese are very active cats. Maine Coons are very laid back. Persians need a lot of grooming.
    4. Research the medical problems prone to individual breeds. Be aware of what may be in the future. It doesn’t mean the pet you choose will get a specific medical problem, but you need to be aware.
    5. Outside animals: horses/ponies, goats, etc. also have specific needs.
    6. The Internet has a vast wealth of information. When doing your research, be sure your Internet research is from reliable sources.
  5. Check into vet clinics to choose the vet best for you and your new pet.
  6. Bring the recipient with you to pick out the pet. Allow them to hold/touch the pet. Allow them to choose their new pet. Pets bond with their owners. Give them a head start by allowing the bonding to start at selection time.
If the pet is for your immediate family and you wish the pet to be a surprise, you can surprise the recipient(s) without actually putting the pet under the tree. All adults (parents) should be involved in the decision. Some tips to surprise your family…
  1. Purchase items needed: food/water bowls, toys, bed, collar, leash, cage (for animals needing such)
  2. Buy a book that teaches the recipient to care for the pet.
  3. Wrap the items and place them under the tree.
  4. Wrap a picture of a dog, cat or other animal you have decided to give as the gift and place it under the tree.
When the recipient unwraps the gift you have placed under the tree, they will know they are getting a pet. You can then let them know when they can go to choose their pet.
If you are purchasing from someone advertising Christmas puppies or adopting from a shelter/rescue, ask them to hold the puppy until after Christmas. Some shelters do not have the space to hold animals; so, they may not be able to hold them.
Be careful of any pet, newly adopted or been around a while, near doors, gates, etc. The constant opening of doors, gates, etc. with guests coming and going allows pets to slip out without anyone noticing. If possible, assign pet duty to one or two people. Their job will be to watch the doors, gates, etc. when people come and go to make sure all entries & exits are closed. Christmas festivities will come to an end quick if the beloved pet is found in the road. If you must have the pets in the house, another choice would be to place pets in a separate room at the farthest end of the house away from the noise to keep them safe and help ease their fears.
Keeping Your Pet Safe at Christmas
These tips will help to ensure you get the right pet. Never purchase a pet, place it in a box with a lid and set it beneath the tree. It may cause the pet to be fearful. There will never be enough holes in a lid or box for the pet to breathe properly.
Remember the list at the beginning of this blog? Bringing a pet into a home with all the goings on that happens on Christmas Day, can be very stressful for any animal. Puppies/dogs, kittens/cats, rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, etc. can become very scared with the crowds and hustle & bustle of the day.
Also, be careful of pets who play with or eat tinsel, garland and ribbons. Glass ornaments can cause injury. Food left out can cause illness. Loud noises can cause fear in pets and cause them to run or hide. If you haven’t seen the pet in while, be sure you know they are hiding and did not bolt out a door. Boxes and ribbons can have metal staples that can be choked on. Mistletoe & poinsettias are poisonous to animals. Christmas lights & cords pose electrocution issues if chewed. Christmas trees can be climbed, knocked down or urinated on… all causing potential electrical problems or injury problems. If you have a fireplace, be sure you have a fireplace screen keeping children & pets out. Large dogs can jump on counter and stove tops, as can cats. Be sure they are either kept out of the kitchen or monitored closely. Be sure to keep handles to pots and pans turned inward; so, they can not be knocked down. Do not leave food unattended. Pets have strong food drives. Small bones like turkey and chicken can cause a pet to choke to death.

Please also be careful with candles. A lot of people use candles at Christmastime, as well as year round. Animals and candles do not mix. Keep lit candles out of the reach of pets. Remember cats can jump most anywhere. It is probably better to refrain from using candles at all with pets.
When dealing with pets at Christmastime or any time, always approach each situation with this in mind…
  1. How can this situation become a potential problem for my pet?
  2. Can the pet reach it?
  3. Can it cause harm to my pet?
  4. Can the pet escape, get lost or injured?
  5. Always have the safety of your pet at the forefront of everything you do. Just as you would for your own child or loved ones.
Whether you are adopting a new pet for Christmas or you already have one, remember to take precautions to ensure their safety!

Fran, a Chow Chow/GSD mix,
at Red River SPCA in Cooke County, Texas
And remember to… always paws for critters with 4 paws!
Thanks for reading.
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