Dec 15

Enjoy this collection of holiday safety tips, gift ideas, and fun new videos!

Keep your pet safe & happy this holiday season:

  • “Fact or Fiction:  Are Poinsettias Poisonous?” Read the ASPCA’s update on the low toxicity of this popular plant.  Take note that other holiday growies are dangerous to your pet:  Just a nibble of a lily can cause kidney failure in cats. Holly and mistletoe can cause GI distress and cardiovascular problems.  Bacteria & fertilizers in tree water can also trigger tummy upset.  Cats often vomit after eating evergreen needles.  Per the ASPCA:  “If you suspect that your animal companion has eaten a potentially toxic substance, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s emergency hotline at (888) 426-4435 for round-the-clock telephone assistance. A fee may apply.”
  • “Veterinarian Urges Pet Safety During Holidays” by Russ Krebs (, 12/08/08).
  • Browse our Thanksgiving post, “You Are What You Eat” for holiday food safety tips.
  • Read our articles, “‘Tis the Season for a Change in the Weather” and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside!” for tips on keeping pets cozy this winter.
  • Help Fluffy & Fido relax:  Pet-proof your house, and keep your pets away from holiday chaos.  During festivities, find a quiet place in your home where they can relax without being scared or overstimulated.  Stick with your pets’ routines, including lots of exercise, to help them cope with holiday unpredictabilities.  Stay on top of house training; many pets regress due to schedule changes, stress, and unpleasant weather.  Read more tips, and contact us for additional advice.

Looking for the purrfect gift for your cat, dog, or pet-loving friend?

  • Never, ever, ever give a pet as a surprise gift! If you’re considering adopting, make sure the whole family is in agreement, and do your research first.  Take your time choosing your new family member.  We can help!
  • We’ve seen a lot of impractical lists of pet gift ideas this season.  NAPSI’s list is one of the best.  Visit our always-updated recommendations for dog products & toys, as well as cat products & toys.
  • You can find great gift ideas & discounts @ our favorite catalogs & online shops.  Check the list for the latest discounts offered by each company.  And please support local pet stores and shelter gift shops.
  • Your pet doesn’t care how much you spend on a gift.  Playtime; homemade gifts; an extra walk; or a romp @ the dog park are wonderful – and free!
  • A recent study showed that 84% of Americans would rather receive a gift that gives to someone else than something that’s just for them.  Why not make a donation in a friend’s name to your local shelter or favorite rescue group ?
  • Every shelter has a wishlist of items they really need.  Check their websites or call ahead for the list.  You can make a big difference with items you have around your house – no monetary donation needed.  Or, volunteer your time – it’s priceless!
  • It’s always nice to curl up with a good book or video.  Our reading lists (dog & cat) are always updated for browsing.
  • And – Critter Consulting offers gift certificates for pet training (for dogs & cats of all ages)!

Fun videos in time for the holidays:

Warmest wishes to you and your family: two and four-legged, alike!

© 2008 CritterConsulting

Dec 8

A friend sent me this article.  (I’ve certainly heard this said of cats, too.) I had to share it with you:

“From time to time people tell me, “Lighten up, it’s just a dog,” or, “That’s a lot of money for just a dog.”  They don’t understand the distance traveled, time spent, or costs involved for “Just a dog”.  Some of my proudest moments have come about with “Just a dog”.  Many hours have passed with my only company being “Just a dog”, and not once have I felt slighted.  Some of my saddest moments were brought about by “Just a dog”.   In those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “Just a dog” provided comfort and purpose to overcome the day.

If you, too, think it’s “Just a dog”, you will probably understand phrases like, “Just a friend”, “Just a sunrise”, or “Just a promise”.  “Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy.  “Just a dog” brings out the compassion and purpose that makes me a better person.  Because of “Just a dog” I will rise early, take long walks, and look longingly to the future.

For me and folks like me, it’s not “Just a dog”.  It’s an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.  “Just a dog” brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.

I hope that someday people can understand it’s not “Just a dog”.  It’s the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being “Just a man or woman”.

So the next time you hear the phrase, “Just a dog”, smile, because they “Just Don’t Understand”.”
-author unknown-

Big hugs to your dogs (and cats!).