How to Keep Your Pets Safe this Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, you probably can’t wait to put your feet up and enjoy some snuggle time with your pets. Pets don’t pay much attention to Christmas, but they do like having us around more. However, there are a great many dangers to watch out for, so keep your best friend safe this Christmas with our handy guide.


The Dangers of Chocolate

Chocolate tastes lovely, but it’s lethal to pets. Scoffing one chocolate button might not cause too much damage, but if your pet eats a large bar of chocolate or gobbles down a box of chocolate liqueurs, you need to get him to the vet immediately. Chocolate contains Theobromine. This is lethal to dogs, cats and other pets, so keep sweet treats locked up and don’t put chocolate decorations on the tree.

Toxic Decorations

Be careful about what you put on the tree. Dogs in particular are prone to chewing, so a sparkling Christmas bauble hanging from a low branch is likely to be seen as fair game to a bored dog. Glass baubles will splinter and cause all kinds of damage and smaller baubles could cause an intestinal blockage. Tinsel is popular with cats and many felines love to eat it, so keep it out of reach of avoid it altogether.

Electrical Cable

Christmas is a time when we hang lights everywhere. This means cables are left trailing all over the floor and well within reach of a curious pet. Since cats, dogs, rabbits and other small pets like to chew wire they may be electrocuted. To avoid any nasty shocks on Christmas morning, connect all lights to a circuit breaker.

Real or Fake Tree Trouble

Real fir trees shed pine needles. These can get stuck in lips, sensitive noses, paws and cause intestinal issues. Try and sweep up fallen pine needles as often as possible. Pinesap is also poisonous, so don’t let your pet chew on a pine tree. Fake Christmas trees are not much better, as plastic pine needles can cause a gut blockage if eaten in large quantities.

Poisonous Plants

Decorative Christmas plants make beautiful table centerpieces, but some of them are highly toxic. Poinsettia is a classic example of a Christmas plant that can kill, but be very careful if you bring mistletoe, holly and amaryllis into the house over the festive holidays. If you do decide to hang a decorative wreath at least position it well out of reach of curious pets. For more information about toxic plants, visit

Turkey Bones

Pets love leftovers, but giving your special pal a turkey bone is a bad idea. Once cooked, turkey and chicken bones become brittle and can splinter when chewed. This will lead to intestinal problems and a hefty vet bill for the New Year.

Christmas is often a time when the house is full of guests. This can be difficult for sensitive animals to deal with, so provide a safe place where your pets can go if they prefer being out of the way.

This entry was posted on December 8, 2016, in Cates & Dogs.

How Dog Therapy Can Help Us Be Happier

Dogs are awesome beings. They have been our trustworthy and loyal friends since the beginning of time. They have adapted to our needs, they have helped us love and feel loved, without asking for anything in return. You may have already known all of these, but did you know dogs can do wonders for our health and happiness, too? If you already have a dog, you probably know how your furry friend can bring peace and happiness into your soul, thus contributing to your general well-being. Those of you who can’t own a dog for various reasons can consider borrowing one from their friends or even becoming a dog sitter or a dog walker.

1. The companionship dogs provide us is priceless.

Dogs are the most loyal animals, as we are the centre of their universe. They would gladly choose to spend all moments of their life with us. Pet parents use to talk to their furry children, especially when there’s nobody else around to hear them. A house can be a very quiet place if it doesn’t have a dog. If you decide to adopt a dog, make sure you offer him the companionship he longs for. Don’t leave your dog alone for long periods of time during the day, as this is not good for him at all.

2. Dogs can assist elderly, ill or disabled people in their daily activities.

Since very long time ago, people train dogs to assist disabled persons in doing various things most of us take for granted. These dogs have helped many individuals significantly improve their quality of life. Moreover, such trained dogs are used to provide therapeutic visits to hospitalised patients or to people in care homes or disabled individuals facilities. The innate desire of dogs to connect and communicate with us is something that has helped many humans in need.

3. Dogs help us stay in good shape.

A dog that doesn’t play isn’t a healthy dog. They are always eager to run and play with us, so whenever we try to comply with these requirements, we also improve our fitness levels. The better our fitness, the healthier we become, as we burn a lot of calories and strengthen our muscles in the process of playing with our beloved pets. Besides, stroking a dog triggers a wave of serotonin through our body, the consequences being a lowering of the blood pressure and a reduction of the stress levels. Clinical studies have proved dog owners are less exposed to the risk of developing depression at some point in their life. After all that exercise, treat your furry friend to a bit of pampering or just plain hair cut at a dog groomers.

4. Dogs make us more sociable.

When you walk your dog, you can’t possible stay away from other dog owners. In addition, even people who don’t have a dog may give you attention and interact with you, especially if they are dog lovers. Most dog owners can tell you how many times passers-by stopped to say hello to their little furry friend.

5. Dogs love us for what we are.

A dog is never going to try to change his owner. They take us just the way we are, with all our problems and issues, with our happiness and our sadness, with our good or bad manners. A dog’s love for his human is unconditional. They are truly our best friends.

6. They satisfy our need to nurture.

The need for nurturing is imprinted in our genes. Our parental instincts are innate. By adopting a dog, we can show him all our love, thus satisfying our need to nurture another being.

7. They can put a smile on our face and joy in our heart.

We all know how powerful a smile or a good laughter can be, and how healthy these simple actions can make us. Waking up in the morning and seeing my dog automatically puts a smile on my face. I wake up in happiness, as I love his playfulness, his cheery mood and his unconditional love. I am positive most people tend to smile when they pass you and your dog during your walks. Dogs have this super power of making people smile, thus making them a little healthier and a lot happier.

All these lead to the point that dogs provide us tremendous health benefits. You should be thankful for having such a wonderful presence in your life. If you do, please show it to your dog by giving him the love and the attention he deserves.

This entry was posted on August 10, 2016, in Cates & Dogs.

The Different Types of Collars You Can Get for Your Dog

The type of collar you get for your dog depends on a few different things.

First, consider the age of your dog. Puppies should never wear collars because when they tug and pull on the leash, they risk damaging their trachea. While you might not notice the damage when they are young, you will certainly see it at an older age. Puppies should always wear harnesses that do not focus all the tug weight on the neck region.


Second, the type of collar you get for your dog will depend on their temperament. Dogs who are not well behaved on a leash and require a little more support should be wearing a harness. Dogs who know how to walk well on a leash can wear a collar, and dogs that are prone to biting might need a muzzle attached to their collar.

The three different dog collars and their benefits are discussed below.


The harness is the best option for owners who have not had success with training their dog to walk on a leash yet. They have three loops. The legs go through two adjacent loops while the neck goes through another, and then a piece that goes over the back will connect those loops. Some harnesses are more filled out than others, but which one you choose depends on your preference and the best fit for your dog.

Harnesses are best for puppies that are learning how to walk on a leash, dogs that are prone to lunging and tugging on the leash, and dogs that might need extra support as they walk. Harnesses act as a wonderful way to help a dog stand if they need assistance, and help the dog walk while the owner lends them some support.


A dog collar should only be worn during the supervision of a person. Most collars will have a mechanism that will release in case the dog gets caught on something, but it’s better to be safe rather than sorry. The benefits of a dog wearing a collar include an easy place to attach tags and licenses for the dog and aesthetic appeal.

Dogs that are well-behaved on the leash and never pull on the leash can walk with a collar.


Muzzles are an option for dogs that are prone to biting or napping while they are out on a walk or if they need to go to the veterinarian. Muzzles do not restrain your dog from breathing or harm them in any way if they are used properly. They can be attached to a collar or a harness, or they can be used freely. The leash will still need to be attached to the collar or the harness, and not the muzzle.

Muzzles should only be used for dogs that have a tendency to bite out of fear while they’re in the public.

Keeping your dog safe and comfortable can be done with all three of the aforementioned options. Take stock of your dog’s character before you decide which one to purchase for him or her. Remember, they may need a different option for a different situation, so it’s alright to have all three on hand!

Skin Irritations

fPets get hurt and sick just like humans; however, humans sometimes don’t feel as equipped to help in these cases. You can help your pet without running to the vet or hoping it heals on its own. Try these five home remedies the next time your pet has an issue that doesn’t quite call for a visit to the vet.


Skin Irritations

Image via Flickr by pmarkham

If your pup has dry skin, allergic reactions, or other skin irritations, an oatmeal bath helps to ease the symptoms. Make sure the oatmeal is very fine, and get your dog to soak in the bath tub with the mixed oatmeal. You can also buy oatmeal baths from the store instead of raiding the kitchen. Since most dogs aren’t inclined to stay in the bath tub, try to pour the oatmeal water over your pets, which will help to soothe their troubled skin.


You don’t have to run to the vet just because your dog has fleas. Borax powder is a great home remedy to treat a flea infestation from your dog. Pour the powder on your floor, and sweep it up. The crystals left over will kill the fleas almost as effectively as an exterminator or sprays. You can also treat your pet with lemon water, since fleas don’t like citrus. Check your pet’s fur regularly to catch fleas early, as well.


If your pup has come down with an illness involving vomiting or diarrhea, you need to replenish fluids so that your dog doesn’t become dehydrated. You may not realize it, but animals can drink certain sports drinks or other drinks with electrolytes similarly to humans. Since you don’t want to go overboard, you may want to use apps like to consult a vet on the amount. Electrolytes are a must to give your dogs when they are ill to replenish fluids and vitamins.


Constipation is an unpleasant and, unfortunately, common ailment for older pups. If you’ve noticed your pet is having difficulties going to the bathroom or lacks energy, consider feeding your dog pumpkin or prunes. Just double-check you don’t give your dog prune pits, since they are dangerous for dogs to consume. Canned pumpkin and prunes both help pups get regular, helping to get their digestion back to normal.


If you notice a wound or swelling on your dog’s paw, body, or face, help relieve the pain with Epsom salt or heat pads. Epsom salt is a good treatment for a wound for your dog. Consider pouring some in a warm bath and having your dog soak in it. If you notice swelling, use a heating pad and place it on the injury.

Watch your animals to see if something is wrong. Once you realize your pet is sick or hurt, you can take steps at home to make him feel better or treat minor issues. Although it’s important to take your pet to the vet when it’s necessary, you can try to help your pet at home when possible.

This entry was posted on February 23, 2016, in Cates & Dogs.