Keep your pet safe during the Holidays

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la,la la la la

‘Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la,la la la la.”


It’s the first of December and everybody is thinking about the Holidays: What to buy for Dad, mom, big brother, Aunt Jean, etc. Who will we invite to our Christmas Eve party, What will Continue reading “Keep your pet safe during the Holidays”

Why do people abandon Pets?


One big reason there are hundreds of thousands of cats and dogs wandering the streets, vacant lots, rural areas, highways, etc., are the many owners who don’t properly care for their animals, or who think that their pets know how to take care of themselves.

Stray behind a wood fence

Family members grumble about how much time the cat or dog takes up during the day. The kid wanted a pet and now won’t take care of it. They are tired of putting up with the problem.

Female cats and dogs keep having litters and no one needs all these useless animals in the world. Puppies and kitties should know not to eat things that will poison them. No one has the money to waste on Vets. They want too much money for what they do.

The dog barks and digs holes in the back yard. The cat digs in the flower beds, and pees on a pile of newspapers in the back hall.

The boy wanted a pet, so he got a dog for his birthday. He promised he’d take care of him. Well, that lasted about a week. Can’t get the kid to feed the dog, take him for a walk, clean up the poop in the back yard. He was told that the dog would have to go if he didn’t take care of him.

In reality, a lot of people don’t realize the amount of time and money that goes into properly caring for an animal. They don’t know that a well cared for pet can be with the family for at least 10 or more years.

Parents must teach a child how to care for a pet. Children should not be expected to take full responsibility for a live creature.

Eventually, the subject of what to do with the cat or dog, comes to the surface. In conversation, the reference changes. A pet is a beloved creature who is part of the family, well-cared for, even spoiled. The “animal”, or “it”, is a problem or a nuisance.

The family seeks a way to rid themselves of an unwanted pet.

What Happens to Abandoned Animals?

Millions of dogs find themselves dumped on the streets each year. Literally thrown from a moving car or truck. If they are lucky, they aren’t hit by a passing car. Countless others are driven out into the country and left to live or die.

Female dogs, ready to have a litter, are left in a garbage dump. Sometimes, just the puppies are dumped. Many of these animals die a lonely, long, agonizing death. Some are rescued and taken to overcrowded shelters.

A lot of dog owners do not spay or neuter their pets. However, dumping female dogs will not slow down the large number of unwanted litters each year. Even abandoned animals will reproduce at least once a year.

It’s instinct. It’s nature’s way of replacing dogs that died. Dogs operate on instinct. They do not have a human’s ability to reason.

Nothing good happens to an abandoned animal. Abandoning an animal, a family pet, is about the same as killing it. They cannot find their way home or hunt adequately to feed themselves.

unwanted dog sleeps on street

They end up as street animals–with people and kids throwing things at them and yelling at them– or in a shelter along with too many other unfortunate creatures.

And that is just in the U.S. In many countries, abandoned dogs die in the cruelest ways–Electrocution, gassed, incineration, or poisoned. Any way to get rid of them.

Cats fare little better. They end up in garbage areas, abandoned buildings, overgrown areas, anywhere they can hide. Newborn kittens are very fragile. If they are left unattended for very long, they will die.

Mother cats are desperate to hide their newborn and are most protective. Even if an attempt is made to rescue them, the mother cat is a fierce opponent.

Why are Animals Abandoned?

There is no real honest reason to ever abandon a pet. Cats, dogs and even horses that have been dependent upon their owners for food, water, shelter, healthcare and affection should never be left without any way of survival.

Nevertheless, there are a number of situations when humans feel that they have no choice but to get rid of the four legged family members.

1.Illness: Some animals have, or develop, serious health issues and need special care. Some owners cannot handle the extra expense and do not have the time to care for them.

2.Behavior: Some animals exhibit destructive behavior, and owners are unable to curb that behavior.

3.Money: A pet is expensive to keep. There are Vet bills and the continuing cost of food and other incidentals.

4.Moving: The family is relocating and do not want the added problems of moving with the pet.

5.Age: Older dogs are more likely to be abandoned.

6.Boredom: Children often consider a pet a toy. When the child gets bored, the parents may consider abandoning the pet.

7.Illness or death of owner: The family doesn’t know what to do with the pet. They have many things to attend to with the loss of a loved one, and they just decide to abandon it.

8.New baby in the family: When the baby comes–the pet has to go.

9.Vacation time: Instead of finding a place or person to leave the pet for a week or two- they simply abandon it.

10.Unwanted litters: Owners don’t spay their female pets and when the litters come, they abandon both mother and babies.

11.No longer profitable: People who breed, race or fight animals, discard the older animals when they are no longer worth feeding and caring for.

Things to consider before adopting a Pet

A pet is a serious responsibility. It’s not a decision to take lightly. A pet depends upon its owner for love, shelter, food and health care. Pets give their owners unconditional love. They do not deserve to be abandoned for any reason.

There are a number of questions that people should consider before adopting a pet.

1st–take plenty of time to think about it.

2nd- Ask yourself why do you want a pet?

3rd-Have you consulted your spouse or significant other?

4th-Do you have the finances to care for a pet?

5th-Are you willing to find a Veterinarian for your pet’s health needs?

Animals need periodic checkups just like people do.

6th-Are you willing to take your pet to training classes-especially if you ‘re looking to adopt a dog or a horse.

7th-Do you accept the fact that your cat, dog, horse, need adequate shelter?

8th- Are you willing to commit to the years your pet may live?

A cat can live up to 20 years. A dog will live up to 16 years, depending upon the breed and size. A horse can live 25 years depending upon breed and level of care.

9th-If you find that it is absolutely impossible to keep your pet, because of finances, or illness or a move across country, are you willing to do everything possible to find your pet a new home, or at least leave it with the Humane Society, or a local reputable shelter?

What if the pet owner can no longer keep the pet?

Remember, a pet is a family member. Pet owners have an obligation to a living being. It is not a houseplant. Throwing it in the garbage is not an option.

First, check with family members and friends. One of them may be willing to take the animal and care for it.

Next, check with shelters that work especially with cats or dogs to place them in new homes. If there are local bulletin boards or weekly flyers, place notices on them or in them.

Check with local Vets. Most of them will put up a notice, or may actually know of someone who is looking for a cat or a dog. Some vets will take your pet and care for it themselves or until they can find a home for it. Check with the local Humane Society or Rescue Shelters. They try to find new homes for pets.

For those who live in rural areas, it may be harder to find helpful resources, but check with hardware stores, farm supply stores and Veterinarians for assistance.

Put a notice in the local newspaper(s) and on local radio stations.


To some people, all of this may seem like a lot of fuss over a cat or a dog. However, most people love their pets and believe that they deserve the best care. Animals perform a service to people. And they do it for a pat on the head, a good meal and a nice place to sleep.

Some dogs are taught to be service dogs and perform a valuable service to blind and handicapped folks. People who suffer from depression and other psychological distress rely upon their pets to give them a reason to live from day to day.

Dogs are trained to perform missions in war. They work with police and fire fighters to save people’s lives. Dogs and cats are wonderful visitors in hospitals and nursing homes. They bring much happiness to the sick and confined.

There is never a valid reason to abandon a pet to danger, fear, hunger, and a slow, painful death. People may tell themselves that someone will find them and take care of them, they’ll be all right. It very seldom works out that way.

Barbara Nelson-I did a computer search in my area and found several Rescue groups. Try a search in your area to find local animal rescue groups. All of them can use volunteers and donations.

Comments are always welcome-Tell me what you liked or didn’t like. I’ll answer.

My thanks to: ANIMALS:–A blog on  tips, care & everything related to the world of animals.


Pros and Cons of adopting a Pet


Most all of us, at one time or another, have enjoyed the ownership of a pet. We may have grown up in a household where pets were just a regular part of everyday living.

The family had a big dog, because dad liked big dogs. Big dogs scared away trespassers and kept things safe. Sometimes, when we were little, a big dog scared us, and we couldn’t play with him because he might hurt us. Continue reading “Pros and Cons of adopting a Pet”

How to train dogs and cats to get along

How many families own both a cat and a dog?

Americans appear to be pet loving creatures. According to a recent Harris Poll, 62% of households own at least one pet. Of those households, 69% owned a dog and 51 % owned a cat. Yahoo reported that generally 2 out of 5 households owned both a cat and a dog. Continue reading “How to train dogs and cats to get along”

Dog and Cat Years Compared to Human Years

Pet Care Trends

How old is your cat or dog, really?

When people start talking about their pets, the topic usually gets around to deciding how old your pet is based upon your age.  Inevitably someone will come up with the age old answer,”Well they say that a dog ages about 7 years for every one of people years.” Then everybody begins to calculate how old “Fido” is  by multiplying his real years by seven. Read more: Continue reading “Dog and Cat Years Compared to Human Years”

Pet Care Trends

What happens to a pet when the owner can no longer care for him?

Colorado Springs, Colorado has one answer

Pets are wonderful companions to elderly people who no longer have family close by.  Their love is unconditional-They don’t care how old their owner is; their love is freely given

Pet Care Trends–News for and about pets Continue reading “Pet Care Trends”

Relief for Pets with Arthritis

Cats and Dogs and Arthritis

If you suffer from arthritis, and most of us dodo, who have reached the grand old age of 45 and up,  find it hard to believe that our beloved pets either have or will have some form of arthritis.

Case in point: I have two cats, both around 14 or 15. Both are females, both are spayed and so have never had a litter of kittens. Both have lived indoors in the very lap (mine) of luxury. One of them is crippled with arthritis in the spine and hind legs; the other one has a touch of arthritis in a front leg. Continue reading “Relief for Pets with Arthritis”

Keep your pets safe during the Holidays

The holidays are here again.


In the frenzy of decorating the house, baking cookies, shopping for presents, and all the other activities that keep us in a whirl, we often forget about our four-legged family members. They don’t understand what all the fuss is about.

Kitten under tree

People are bringing in things they have never seen before. You’ve heard the saying,”Curiosity killed the cat.” Cats are by nature curious and anything new must be cat inspected.

There are colored lights and artificial garlands strung around. Continue reading “Keep your pets safe during the Holidays”

Planning a Road Trip with the Dog


When the weather begins to moderate, we begin to day dream about vacation time. The days grow longer; daylight stays until almost 8 o’clock in the lower United States and we have “cabin fever.”What is “cabin fever” you ask? It’s not a real, physical illness, it’s a longing to get out of the house and plant flowers, take a long walk in the sun, build something, go fishing, etc. Most of us are disgusted with Winter. It’s so cold outside, the days are short, and our tempers get “short” too.

Family members begin to talk about where to go this summer. The kids want to go to a Theme Park; Dad wants to take a prolonged road trip,with a couple of fishing side trips along the way. Mom wants to go somewhere that doesn’t require her to do anything domestic. She wants to be pampered, she doesn’t want to cook, wash or iron clothes.

Then the kids ask, “Can we take Tops with us, please, can we?” Tops is their new dog. He is part Golden Retriever and no one knows exactly what else. He is a sweet dog, but how will he travel? Mom puts the kids off with a half-hearted, “We’ll talk about it later.” The last thing Mom wants to do is to plan a road trip with the dog.

Train Your Dog for the Trip

The begging, the tears and the shouts of joy are all over and it’s been decided that Tops will go on vacation with the family. Does Tops know about riding in a car? Someone in the family must take charge of his training.

1.Take Tops in to see the veterinarian. Tell the vet you’re going to be on vacation and you want to be sure Tops is healthy. Make sure he has a current rabies shot and any other shots he may need. Get a copy of Top’s medical record to take with you.

2. Make sure Tops is okay with riding in the car. Do some short practice road trips. Make sure none of these trips are to the vet. You want Tops to understand that riding in the car is fun and he may go anywhere with you. Take him places that are strange to him and where people that he does not know are shopping or visiting. Make sure he knows how to act in these instances.You will be his guide.

3.Tops is a large dog so you won’t have a carrier or a crate for him, but don’t let him roam loose in the car. All dogs should ride in the backseat. Keep a leash on him at all times. When you stop at a rest area, you don’t want Tops to bolt out of the car.

4. Stop about every two hours. Dogs need rest stops too.

5. Take dog treats and chew toys. Bring Tops’ favorite food, his favorite blanket or bed and his water bowl. Also bring his comb and brush. He will be getting out of the car into  some places that have weeds and high grasses and you will want to keep his coat clean.

Decide on places to see, Where to Sleep

You have the dates you are going to be gone, you have the dog trained, now where are you going? You have made arrangements to visit a theme park for the kids and the rest of the trip will be sight seeing with overnight stops at motels. Find out from the Theme park their rules concerning pets. Some will allow dogs on leashes while others have kennels for visitors to house their pets while seeing the sights.

Check with Motels about rules for pets. Some allow pets with no extra arrangements, others charge an additional fee for a  pet to stay in the room. A few motel chains do not allow pets in the room. Do not sneak your pet into the Motel, go on down the road to another facility. You can save yourself some hassles, it you decide how far you are going each travel day and make motel reservations ahead of time.

Traveling with a small Dog has a few different  considerations

Before we round out our story , we need to take a look at our friends with small dogs. If you are traveling by car, all small dogs should be confined in a crate or a small carrier. Put them on a leash so that when you stop for a rest, your little dog can’t get away. They should at all times be in the back seat,  All other considerations would be the same as for large dogs. Small dogs are more likely to be acceptable at most Motels.

Some rules are made to be broken, however. My mother had small dogs and the current family pet always rode in mother’s lap in the front seat of the car at all times. In their retired years, my mother and father drove all over the Southwestern United  States. Dad bought a GM pickup truck and a small travel trailer and  outfitted it with everything necessary for camping.  The little dog, sometimes two little dogs, were always with them.

Alternative Travel Vacations

Some people like to “rough it” and spend all their vacation time in the great out of doors. It’s called Camping. With the right gear, camping can be almost as easy as being in your own kitchen. However, everybody in the family should be in agreement about a camping vacation. If even one person is not happy about the choice then the whole vacation will be less than ideal.

But if everybody is “gung ho” about a camping trip, consider National Parks, and National Forests for your destination. All campgrounds have information on rules and regulations for campers, and if pets  are allowed.

 You would be wise to check early on campgrounds in popular areas. During summer months campgrounds in some areas are completely filled.

A good time was had by all

Our pets become part of the family. With a little training, your dog can be delightful company, especially for your kids during a long trip. Also consider that your dog can be a watchdog for your belongings. Most dogs bark when strangers approach, and that can be a good safety measure. Take the dog. You’ll all have a great time.

My-Pet-Toys-and-Stuff:Home Decorating With Pets in Mind

Decorating a home is more than deciding what you like and don’t like. If you are living alone, that makes the decorating decisions easy. But, rarely do most of us live alone. We may start out alone, but after a while, we add a partner, usually a husband or a wife, then comes children, and after that, perhaps a cat or a dog. All these live additions to the home create new ideas for decorating. I’m not talking about necessities, I’m talking about the additional things that turn an apartment or a house into a home.  Since the Christmas season is upon us lets consider home decorating with our pets in mind.

Home Decorating with a Cat

What we have said about cats in previous articles still holds true. A cat believes everything in the house belongs to her. She just gives us permission to use it. Therefore, she expects us to consult with her on every new item we bring into our living quarters. She must inspect it, smell it, rub her chin on it, give it a full body rub.

Watch her carefully, especially if the new item is a piece of furniture- the next move is to stand up on her hind legs and run her front feet over it. If she has claws, she needs to be discouraged immediately. (See-Train your Cat not to claw the furniture). If she turns around and walks away from the new item, she has accepted it. You may keep it.

What about Christmas Trees, plants, gifts, and all things glittery? Think “high.” Think, “no way she can jump from here to there?”  Probably best if you don’t insist on a live ChristmasTree. If a live tree is a must, then the cat will have to be locked in another room when everybody is gone, and when everybody has gone to bed. An artificial tree will be less stressful for everyone. Anchor it well, so there is little likelihood it will fall.

Decorate the tree as you usually would, starting from the top down. Stop decorating about 3 or 4 branches from the bottom, unless you don’t mind redecorating these branches several times a day.

Poinsettias are dangerous for cats. If you have a plant, keep it in a room that is closed off from the cat. Mistletoe berries can make a cat sick, actually, any plant with berries can be bad for a cat. Your furry friend will beg you for any tasty morsel from the dinner table. Don’t give her anything except maybe some turkey-no gravy -and check for bones.

Cats like to pull off ribbons from the presents, and tear off wrapping paper, too. Leave presents in the closet until time to open. Or, if you want presents under the tree before distributing them, put them out shortly before opening, so you can keep an eye out for the cat.

Home Decorating with a Dog

Dogs will do many of the things that cats do, but, if you have taken the time to train your dog, it will be easier to keep your dog away from decorations you want left intact. Make sure your dog responds to commands like : NO!, Stay Down! Don’t Jump! Drop it!, etc.

If you have a live tree, don’t let your dog drink the water in the container the tree is set in. The water may contain some chemicals to keep the tree fresh longer.

Some dogs, however, do like to chew on boxes, ribbons, tree decorations, strings of lights, etc. It is always easier to put hazardous things up or away from places where pets can get to them, rather than spend your days yelling at your dog.

Be careful what you give to your dog as a treat from the dinner table. Chicken bones and Turkey bones will splinter when dogs clamp down on them. If swallowed, these splinters could damage the intestinal tract.

Some vets suggest that dogs should not be given any bones at all, even those that are manufactured and packaged especially for dogs. Bones of any kind can cause choking, vomiting, damage to the mouth, or blockage in the digestive tract.(Check with your vet about bones for your dog). Just stick with some turkey meat, without the bones, if you want to include your dog in the feast.

Dogs will also eat anything left out and easily reached. Chocolate is especially dangerous for dogs. Put the candy box away after indulging in a few sweets.

Note: a few years ago, I had family over for Christmas dinner and we had a round of candies before we left to visit friends. Unfortunately, I left the candy box -lid on- on the coffee table. When we came home, the candy box was on the floor, with the lid off and quite a few chocolates missing. My poor dog was terribly sick. She survived after a very miserable evening. I learned from that incident to always put food away.

So How Can Pets and Decorations Co-Exist in a Household?

First of all, use some common sense when looking for decorations for the house. Don’t get a lot of things that dangle, or have gold or silver sprinkles. If you want live decorations -wreaths-trees, etc. watch your pets to make sure they are not ingesting pine needles, berries, bits of tree bark. If you have a live tree, be sure to sweep or vacuum the area at least once a day.

Keep plants away from pets. Watch for dropped leaves or flowers and pick them up immediately. Especially keep Poinsettias on a high shelf, where even a cat can’t get to. Empty garbage cans every day, even more than that if you are doing a lot of cooking or arranging bouquets, etc.

Artificial trees and wreaths and garlands are safer for inside decorating, if you have pets around. However, remember artificial decorations can be toxic, too. Some paints, glitter and glue can be toxic to pets and even children.


So when you are starting to decorate your home, don’t just “Deck the Halls with boughs of Holly” but rather “Deck the Walls—“high”. Put wreaths, garlands and plants up, out of reach. Sturdy your tree and don’t decorate the bottom three or four rows of branches. Keep your furry friends in mind when you decorate for any occasion.