The Holiday Season and Winter Survival Guide
Holiday Safety for Dogs
- Onions, which can cause anemia (high levels of garlic can, too)
- Grapes and Raisins
- Bones (especially cooked bones and ANY poultry bones)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Any foods high in fat, sodium and/or sugar
There are some human foods that are okay for dogs. Try a small piece of cooked turkey or chicken without skin or bones (and hold the gravy). Raw carrots and apples in moderate amounts are actually healthy for dogs. Just remember – everything in moderation.
Watch the holiday decorations! Most dogs are curious by nature, so they will want to check out any additions to the decor. Sniffing can lead to chewing, or even ingestion of foreign objects. Keep electrical cords tucked away and other decorations or holiday plants out of reach. Watch out for dangling objects that can be pulled down and cause injury. Candles should never be left unattended. Also, if you have a Christmas tree, don’t let your dog drink the tree water – it can make her sick.
Don’t let your dog get lost in the shuffle. Holiday parties and gatherings can mean lots of commotion. This might be fun for you, but not for your dog. Lots of people in your home can result in injury or stress for your dog. A large crowd is not the place for most dogs, so consider keeping her in a crate or quiet room – especially if she is the nervous type. If she is comfortable around a smaller group, just make sure you set down the ground rules with your company: don’t feed the dog and keep the doors closed! Many pets get loose and run off during the holiday season. Though your dog should always wear a collar with current identification, this is especially important during the holiday season. Sadly, many dogs run off and become lost during the holiday season. don’t let yours be one of them.
Great Gifts for Dog Lovers
1. FURminator deShedding Tool
2. Books on Dog Training
5. Pet Emergency Pocket Guide by Informed
The Pet Emergency Pocket Guide by Informed is a valuable reference that simplifies pet care by providing daily care guidelines, first aid, travel advice, emergency planning, and proper responses to pet injuries, illnesses, and emergencies.
14. Charitable Donations
Making a donation to someone’s favorite charity in their name can be a lovely gift for the right person. Plenty of people would rather have a tangible gift, so make sure you know the person well enough before choosing this gift or it could make the recipient feel slighted. However, if you know that the person is active in an organization or passionate about a specific charity, the gift will probably be well-received. Tip: If you are torn between the two, make your donation but also include a small token gift.
Top Dog Gifts
1. Dog Tornado by Nina Ottosson
2. Star Mark Everlasting Treat Ball
3. A New Dog Bed
4. Kong Tug Toy
5. Kong Dog Chew Toy
6. Food and Treat Dispensing Dog Toys
7. Anything from Doggyloot.com
Doggyloot is a great website for dog product discovery. You can find deals on all kinds of great dog products to spoil your favorite dogs! Sign up for Doggyloot to discover new dog chews, toys, treats and more at discounted prices. Some favorite regulars include bully sticks and durable chew toys, but the products change from day to day.
Why Dogs are Not Gifts
The gift of a new dog or puppy is something many kids dream about. Unfortunately, most of these little ones do not realize that with dog ownership comes responsibility. Soon enough, the care of the dog can fall into the hands of mom or dad. If you are not the child’s parent, then you really have no place giving that child a new dog unless the parent(s) are on board. If you are a parent of the child, then getting a dog is a family decision. Have a discussion with your child about the responsibilities involved. Examine your household situation so you can choose the right dog for your family.
If a New Dog is Right
If the receiver of the gift is actually in a position to welcome a new dog into the home, there are still some important things to consider. Dogs given as gifts on birthdays and holidays can get caught up in all the hustle and bustle of the events. Sadly, they may be soon forgotten like new toys and games – particularly where kids are concerned. If someone you care about is interested in getting a dog, give a book about dog ownership or a dog accessory as a gift. Discuss plans to go and pick out that new dog or puppy. If the future owner of the dog is part of the decision process, it will be in everyone’s favor. It’s the best way to start dog and owner off on the right foot.
Traveling with Dogs
Air travel for dogs is not always a great idea. Though canines are not cargo to us pet parents, they are usually considered such by the airlines. The cargo hold does not make for a pleasant travel experience, even for relaxed dogs. This is not to say that flying is not an option, just that it is not ideal. Small dog owners are in luck, though. Some airlines will allow you to bring your pet in a carrier if it can fit under the seat in front of you. Learn the finer details of air travel with dogs so you can be fully informed before you book a flight.
Pet-loving entrepreneurs have been developing pet-friendly airlines that may actually be affordable. One such company is Pet Airways, a pet-only (no human passengers) airline that allows pets to fly in the main cabin rather than cargo. However, these flights are only available in a limited number of cities. Until these types of airlines are more accessible, many of us will have to make do with the rules or scrape up the dough to charter a plane.
The automobile is usually the best way to travel with dogs. If you own a vehicle, chances are your dog has ridden in it for trips to the vets, the park and so on. If not, now is the time to start. Some dogs have anxiety over riding in cars. The more positive your dog’s automobile experiences are, the more likely he will enjoy the rides. If your dog only rides in the car for vet visits, and he dislikes the vet, his anxiety is understandable. Try taking him for short, frequent car rides that end up at the park, dog supply store (where he will get a toy or treat), or another pleasant place. If your dog does not adjust to the car, then a road trip is not a good option. If you must bring your dog for a long car ride, ask your vet about possible anti-anxiety medications that can make the trip a bit easier on everyone. Otherwise, you should seek out other options. Remember, medications should be used sparingly.
If you’ve decided that Rover can handle the trip, make sure you make all the proper arrangements.
Plot rest stops along the way while traveling with your dog, and plan to stop every 3-5 hours to allow your dog to relieve himself, drink water and stretch his legs (more or less depending on your dog’s needs). Make a list of several veterinary hospitals that are easily accessible from your route, preferably within one hour’s drive from any given point. Check that they will be open during your travel.
Giving Back: Charitable Gifts
Volunteer Your Time
To get started, contact an animal shelter or pet rescue group in your area. Find out how you can help, but know your limitations. If you overextend yourself emotionally or physically, then you are not really helping the cause in the long run. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable working directly with unfamiliar animals. That’s okay. You may be able to help by answering phones, managing the website or even licking stamps. You won’t know until you try, so start researching now. A simple web search for pet rescues or shelters in your city is a great place to begin. You can also ask your vet’s office or another pet professional to recommend reputable local organizations.
Adopt A Shelter or Rescue Dog
Not sure you want a long-term commitment, but would like a pet in your life? Animal rescue groups are always in need of good foster homes. Opening your home to a foster pet can help that pet become more socialized and accustomed to home living, making the pet more easily adoptable. Who knows, you may even find that you can adopt the pet for your own.
- Do not leave your dog outside unsupervised without a heated shelter. Just because your dog has fur, it does not mean he can withstand the cold. Though some dog breeds (like Huskies and Malamutes) are better suited to cold weather, all dogs should have access to a warm shelter at all times. Most dogs do best living indoors. However, if your dog must live outdoors, provide a heated dog bed and adequate shelter.
- Small dogs or those with little to no hair should have sweaters or jackets for protection against the cold. Some of the most common breeds that will benefit from protective clothing are Chihuahuas, Miniature Pinschers, Whippets, and Greyhounds. Remember, not all dogs will tolerate clothing, so don’t push it – just make an extra effort to keep them out of the cold. Keep food and water in a place where they will not freeze – preferably inside! A heated dog bowl can help outdoor water and food from freezing.
- Watch those feet! If your dog will tolerate it, consider foot protection booties. This can keep your dog’s feet safe from harm, such as dangerous objects hidden by the snow or salt on roads and walk ways. Additionally, booties can help give your dog a better grip and prevent slipping on ice.
- When walking your dog near ice, use extra caution to avoid slipping. Always keep a close watch your dog and be sure he says nearby. Do not allow your dog to run across frozen bodies of water – he could fall into icy water if the ice is too thin!
- If you use an indoor or outdoor fireplace, always keep a safety guard around it in order to protect your dog away from the flames and soot. Do not leave a fire unattended.
- If your dog is in the cold and begins excessively shaking or shivering, get him back to warm shelter as soon as possible. If you suspect your dog is developing hypothermia, bring him to a vet immediately.
- Avoid letting your dog eat snow or anything else on the ground. Dangerous objects or chemicals may be hidden in the snow. Also, eating snow this can cause stomach upset and even hypothermia. Always keep fresh room temperature water available at all times.
- Beware antifreeze – It is highly toxic! Antifreeze tastes good to pets, but even a small amount can kill your dog. Though exposure to antifreeze is a risk all year, the risk is especially high during the colder months. Keep your eyes on your dog at all times – and keep antifreeze out of reach. If you suspect your dog has had ANY exposure to antifreeze, get to a vet right away.
- In general, be sure to contact your vet if any abnormal behavior or signs of illness appear.
Did you know that your dog’s normal temperature is a few degrees higher than yours? Winter is the perfect time of year to snuggle up – so have fun and stay warm!
Recipe of the Month
Christmas Meat Balls for Dogs
You will need:
- 250g turkey mince
- A couple of medium sized potatoes (around 350g)
- A good sized carrot (around 200g)
- A handful of sprouts (about 250g)
- 1 tsp of Marmite
- 1 tsp of cranberry sauce
Preheat oven to 350F/180C/gas mark 4.
Cut the carrot and potato into chunks and the sprouts in half. Fill a large saucepan with water, bring to the boil, add all the veg, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Put the turkey mince into a large frying pan with some oil and fry until brown. Drain the veg and mash roughly in a large mixing bowl. Add the turkey, mix with a wooden spoon and add the cranberry sauce and Marmite. Leave the mixture to cool then mould into walnut-sized balls. Put these onto a baking tray and pop them into the oven for about 30 minutes. Leave the mince balls to cool, and then serve in your dog’s favourite bowl with some cold gravy (from your Christmas dinner) on the top.
Green Smoothie for Puppies
Dogs love green smoothies. Often, people ask us at what age they can start giving green smoothies to their dogs. Please keep in mind the following guidelines when introducing green smoothies to you dogs: Dogs can safely have the following fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, and watermelon. They can also eat any greens. You may have even seen your doggies eating grass at the park. Serve your dog smoothie in small amounts, since dogs do not need as much greens in their diet as we do. Also, dogs have smaller stomachs, and for that reason several tablespoons will be enough for a small dog, and a cup for a
8 Foods You Should Never Give Your Pets Cont’d
8. Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are common in candies and chocolates. The mechanism of macadamia nut toxicity is not well understood, but clinical signs in dogs include depression, weakness, vomiting, tremors, joint pain, and pale gums. Clinical signs can occur within 12 hours after eating. In some cases, signs can resolve without treatment in 24 to 48 hours, but patient monitoring is strongly recommended.
Dog Nutrition Cont’d
Dogs are generally lactose intolerant, yet for some reason they love dairy products. A spoonful of ice cream or frozen yogurt(which has less lactose than ice cream) every once in a while should not bother your dog but do keep an eye on him to see if he experiences any tummy distress. Also, be sure the ice cream doesn’t contain ingredients that are harmful to dogs: chocolate, coffee, raisins, and certain nuts.
PETS OF THE MONTH
A Rescue Dog’s Christmas Poem
Tis the night before Christmas and all through the town, every shelter is full – we are lost, but not found,
Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare, we hope every minute that someone will care,
They’ll come to adopt us and give us the call, “Come here, Max and Sparkie – come fetch your new ball!!
But now we sit here and think of the days.. we were treated so fondly – we had cute, baby ways,
Once we were little, then we grew and we grew now we’re no longer young and we’re no longer new.
So out the back door we were thrown like the trash, they reacted so quickly – why were they so rash?
We “jump on the children:, “don’t come when they call”, we “bark when they leave us”, climb over the wall.
We should have been neutered, we should have been spayed, now we suffer the consequence of the errors THEY made.
If only they’d trained us, if only we knew…
we’d have done what they asked us and worshiped them, too.
We were left in the backyard, or worse -let to roam- now we’re tired and lonely and out of a home.
They dropped us off here and they kissed us good-bye… “Maybe someone else will give you a try.”
So now here we are, all confused and alone… in a shelter with others who long for a home.
The kind workers come through with a meal and a pat, with so many to care for, they can’t stay to chat,
They move to the next kennel, giving each of us cheer… we know that they wonder how long we’ll be here.
We lay down to sleep and sweet dreams fill our heads.. of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds.
Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears – our friends filled with emptiness, worry, and fear.
If you can’t adopt us and there’s no room at the Inn – could you help with the bills and fill our food bin?
We count on your kindness each day of the year – can you give more than hope to everyone here?
Please make a donation to pay for the heat… and help get us something special to eat.
The shelter that cares for us wants us to live, and more of us will, if more people will give.