Dear Santa,

I can explain. 

It was definitely all the cat’s fault. Felines are supposed to be wise, intelligent creatures, but I think she led me astray. It all started with telling me that we deserved our share of the Halloween candy stash, then the trash-diving for Thanksgiving leftovers. And, let’s forget the Christmas tree mishap. 

But, I’ve learned my lessonrather, lessons. After my stint in the veterinary hospital recovering from surgery to remove those turkey bones, I am never going to listen to the cat again. During my hospitalization, I met other pets who had run afoul of holiday misadventures. I didn’t realize celebrating with my family could create so many hazards.

Since I’m a smart dog and I’ve learned from my mistakes, next year will be better. And, remember—this was all the cat’s fault, so I think I deserve at least a small gift for being a good dog. In fact, skip the cat and give me her share, since she was naughty this year. I take a size extra-large in bones.

See you under the tree,

Future Good Doggo 

Top holiday hazards for pets

As the end-of-year holidays draw near, two- and four-legged mischief-makers are working hard to end up on Santa’s nice list. With the many opportunities for mishaps, you must keep a close eye on your pet to ensure she stays out of trouble and rings in the New Year at home with you, rather than at the veterinary hospital. Here is a list of the top holiday hazards to watch for:

  • Suspicious leftovers — Thanksgiving leftovers are a glorious part of the holiday, and although you’d rather share them with your pet than anyone else, keep them to yourself. When tossing leftovers or scraps into the trash, check your trash can’s security. Garlic mashed potatoes, rich gravy, turkey drumsticks, fruit-filled bread pudding, and sweet pumpkin pie can tempt the most steadfast of pets into trash-can diving. Holiday foods are often comfort foods high in fat and sugar, and laden with spices and seasonings, which can wreak havoc on your pet’s gastrointestinal tract. Some foods can be life-threatening, leading to pancreatitis, foreign body obstruction, anemia, or kidney failure. If you do toss your leftovers, remember that food in the trash can quickly rots, and although your pet’s taste buds won’t mind a moldy holiday dinner, her GI tract will. Remove suspicious leftovers before they cause issues.

  • Costume malfunctions — With the Super Bowl a few months away, there’s no reason to practice a wardrobe malfunction now, or ever. Pets dressed up as elves and reindeer are adorable, but festive costumes can pose a threat to their health. Choking hazards abound in buttons, zippers, ties, and other small parts, while a too-snug fit can restrict breathing. Avoid embarrassing and hazardous wardrobe malfunctions by letting your pet remain au naturel.

  • Poisonous plants — While your Christmas tree may be a vision of beauty, your pet may view it as an oversized chew toy. A feisty kitten loves to bat glass ornaments to the ground and watch them shatter, while a Labrador will encourage you to join in her game of fetch, although the “branch” is greatly oversized. Also, avoid seasonal plants, such as holly, mistletoe, and lilies, which can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, heart problems, and kidney failure. After all, you don’t need mistletoe as an excuse to smooch your pet.

  • Shocking decorations — A warm glow from strands of lights brightens the holiday season, but also serves as a beacon to naughty pets. Cats and dogs may nibble on electrical wires, strands of lights, or battery packs, and end up with a shocking surprise, from oral burns to cardiovascular problems. 

  • Social anxiety — The holidays are a time for the biggest social events of the year, when you celebrate with good food, drinks, and company. But, your pet may not enjoy the festive gatherings, and choose to cower in the corner. Many pets are unsure around strangers, and when their home is overrun with a large crowd, they become anxious and stressed. Avoid a party panic attack by setting up a quiet VIP suite with your pet’s favorite treats and toys where she can enjoy the holidays away from the commotion.

If your pet is a mischief-maker who likely will end up writing an apology letter to Santa, keep our number close by to help solve any holiday mishaps.