Happy Howl-idays

Well, that time of year has rolled around again and I’m sure your e-mails and Facebook pages are getting filled with what not to do with your pet. So, I thought I’d move in a different direction and discuss what your pets can do this holiday season. Here’s a list:

  1. Do allow holiday puppy kisses.  Nothing like a facial wash from that stale puppy food smelling mouth. It warms a person’s heart.  A word of caution, this only applies to puppies.  You don’t want to be licked by adult dogs once they’ve learned the art of self sanitation. In other words, once they start licking their butts and anal sacs, ew!

  2. Do allow your kids to roll around and wrestle with the dog (assuming the pet has a good disposition and is not old and arthritic). Kids that grow up with dogs have a lower incidence of asthma. That is a statistical fact! I suspect the same holds true for cats. I just haven’t read any scientific articles stating that.

  3. Do get them holiday pet treats to use for rewarding good behaviour when guests are over.

  4. Do get them ugly holiday sweaters so they too can participate in ugly sweater contests.

  5. Do allow them (especially cats) to curl up on your laps at night. It’s getting cold out there!

  6. If it snows, do allow them (and the kids) to stick their noses into the snow, roll around, and run through it like they’ve totally lost their minds. A young dog’s first exposure can be hilarious. Keep the camera handy.

  7. If you cannot help yourself, do share the holiday feast. Only white meat please, and small portions mixed with their regular meal. No desserts, fatty meats, chocolate,etc. (See Sarah’s previous blog post regarding safe and unsafe foods.)

  8. Do allow the dog to bark at the reindeer or dogs in holiday movies on the HD TV.

  9. Do give a big box to the cat and allow the games to begin. Beware, remove all ribbons first. Christmas gift for the cat? A big box is the ultimate gift as far as they are concerned, no need to spend extra money on fancy, expensive toys they will ignore.

  10. Do allow the cat or dog to curl up under the tree. They feel very secure under this artificial shelter.  Again, no ribbons or tinsel, please.

  11. Do allow them to participate in Christmas morning activities. Anxieties are relieved when they are around their family.  And they love to roll around in the paper wrap. Did I mention no ribbons?

  12. And finally, do allow the cat to climb up the Christmas tree.  Then you too can enjoy the feeling of laughter in the midst of your anger as the tree falls over.


Dr. Jerry Miller is a graduate of The Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine.

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