Decorating the Tree Safely with Pets in Your Home

Chapman went home for the holidays and will learn about the hazards! He has a Mommy, Daddy, even a Christmas Tree!!! 

chap tree 2

As the holidays approach, and the decorating begins… please remember to do so responsibly, and may your holiday be joyful and safe!!!

A few recommendations I strongly suggest when decorating your tree with pets in the home:

1.  Avoid hanging any glass or breakable ornaments on your tree.     Please DO NOT hang homemade decorations on the tree!!!  To make them, typically, instructions indicate to use salt, flour, and water… if ingested, it may be fatal for your pet!!!

2.  All decorations should be hung at least a foot above your pet’s eye level… if one was dangling in front of my face, I’d want to play with it, too!  : )

3.  Use bread or trash bag ties, as opposed to metal hooks, to hang decorations.

4.  Secure your tree with a tether from the ceiling, wall, or both, depending on the size, to avoid it falling if a pet jumps up or knocks into it when    playing.  Try to restrict playing in the area of the tree… good luck!   hahaha

5.  Do not leave any cords hanging or in sight of your pets.    (See photo above – kitty immediately went for the hanging lights!)

6.  Turn off all lights and decorations when leaving the room.

7.  Avoid using any tinsel, icicles, or curly ribbon due to risk of choking, obstruction, and strangulation.


sneakers xmas

This last suggestion is not tree-related, rather, shopping/gift bag-related…

Snip the handles of all bags, or cut them off completely.

Animals are very curious, and most will stick their heads right in the bags…
My kitty usually goes right through the handles; hence, my extreme caution.
In my home, there are no bags allowed!!! Also, discard any plastic bags… again,
to keep your pets safe from being strangled, ingesting plastic, and suffocation.

Please add any tips I missed in the comments below.  Considering I’ve never had a Christmas tree, and this post is based solely on my observations and experience in pet-proofing others’ homes, I’m sure I’ve overlooked some. : )

See my previous blog post on Hanukkah Safety with Pets While Lighting the Menorah

Wishing everyone and their pets a very Happy Holiday…

Helping to keep beloved furry babies healthy and safe, and pet parents informed!

I’ve Got the ‘Scoop’!, LLC


david tree

PetsitUSA Blog

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Who could resist Oliver?  He’s a one-year old mixed breed, totally attentive to his owner, whose beautiful lady sits by watching proudly.  They were sitting having a coffee outside a café in Menton. Oliver lives in Imperia, across the border in Italy.


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Nice Infection photos

A few nice infection images I found:

Infection control exhibit

Image by Samuel Mann

Infections de malwares

Image by pandafrance
Rapport PandaLabs Q3 2012

Plus d’informations sur…

Téléchargement du rapport sur

seephylliz infection

Image by seephylliz478

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The Secrets to Saving Money at the Vet

Hoo boy, that 20/20 piece sure stirred up some emotions, didn’t it? And it’s Thanksgiving, a week of gratitude, so I’m going to take a step back and say thank you to all the wonderful readers and colleagues who make writing this worthwhile. In honor of that, I’m going to take a moment and also share with you some of my own veterinary secrets. For the low low price of nothing, I want to explain to you what I believe, based on over a decade now in the field, is the best way to save money at the vet. No sarcasm here.

The best way to save money at the vet is….are you ready?

To spend more time at the vet. No, really.

Preventive Care is where it’s At

If one wants to know some of the best ways to save money on medical care, we need look no further than the group that has gotten the cost/benefit analysis down to an exact science: the human medical profession. It’s taken a long time for the field to come away from the model of medical firefighting: wait until something gets bad- CANCER! KILL IT WITH RADIATION! and more towards preventive care: MAMMOGRAM ALL THE LADIES! Firefight when you have to, but how much better is it to catch things early? For us, of course, it’s lives on the line, but guess what? It’s better for the bottom line too. Win-win.

Interestingly, the three situations described in the 20/20 bit as potential money grabs by the veterinary profession are perfect illustrations of why preventive care is so very important. Had we seen the extent of Marty Becker’s 90 minute interview for the piece in context, this would have all been part of the piece, by the by.

1. Cancer

50% of dogs over the age of 10 will develop cancer. I see it every day. It stinks, and once it’s diagnosed  in advanced stages the treatment options are difficult and expensive. When your veterinarian finds a lump on a dog during a routine exam, for the love of everything, check it out! Trust me, I would make more money resecting it in a messy surgery a year from now when it’s huge as opposed to doing a little biopsy or fine needle aspirate here and now, but I don’t recommend that because I don’t want that to happen to your pet.


Here’s just a few examples of things I have diagnosed on a check of a lump the owner was on the fence about doing anything about:




-mast cell tumor


Kekoa had a sarcoma hiding under a lump of fatty tissue that, to my fingers, felt like a lipoma (benign fatty tumor.) It wasn’t.

Early detection saves lives.

2. Vaccines

People often go to those weekend vaccine clinics to save money instead of getting it done in the office. Then what happens? They hand you a pamphlet and you have to decipher which package, A, B, or C you want like it’s ordering your kid’s school photographs. It’s confusing. Often, you overbuy. It’s a lot of work to try and stay on top of these things, and I certainly don’t expect pet owners to be reading up on current best practices for vaccines each and every time the dog’s getting boarded and you need a Bordetella vaccine.

I take vaccines very seriously. I keep up on the latest AAHA guidelines- based on research, science, and the best our field has to offer in terms of what constitutes duration of immunity and core versus non-core vaccines. I use that to tailor a vaccination protocol for each pet who comes through the door. I can’t tell you what I recommend across the board because there is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’. I’ve done the full complement, I’ve done titers, I’ve written letters asking the county to exempt an elderly pet with a history of vaccine reactions from a rabies vaccine. This is what we do. If your veterinarian isn’t open to that conversation, I agree 100% that you may want to find someone else.

That being said, the majority of my patients do stay on schedule with vaccines, because once you’ve seen dogs dying of parvo while a little child weeps, you kind of get invested in doing all you can to prevent that.

Bottom line: It’s worth it to find a veterinarian you trust. We’re not unicorns, at least in my experience; we usually can be found hanging around.

Vaccines save lives.

3. Dentistry

Here’s the one that caused the most discussion. Our profession is in the middle of some real change in terms of recognizing the importance of dental care. Since I am not a boarded veterinary dentist, I defer to their vast reservoirs of knowledge and the evidence is clear: 85% of pets have periodontal disease by the age of 4. Most of it is invisible to the naked eye. Can you imagine if we waited until our teeth looked brown and grungy with recessed red gums before going to the dentist? There is real, actual value in getting professional care even if a mouth “looks” OK.

Click here to view the embedded video.

The *best* way to keep your pets’ teeth healthy at home is incidentally also the cheapest: brush their teeth daily. The other best thing is to get regular, anesthetized dental cleanings to prevent disease from developing/worsening. If you choose not to anesthetize a healthy pet at 3 years old for routine maintenance, the end result is often a 12 year old with impaired organ function and a mouth full of horrifically painful teeth that need to be removed, at great expense. I can address the anesthesia component in another post, because it’s worth a discussion all its own, but suffice to say, anesthesia performed to excellent standards of care- that’s the key- while not risk-free, is actually very safe in healthy pets.

The three issues presented above are life-savers for pets. I am not saying this hyperbolically. Done early and with forethought, they are also money-savers, because they stave off much more significant, and expensive, disease down the road. There’s a reason my own insurance has a $ 0 co-pay for preventive care: it works. Same goes for our pets.

And happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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The Shhh Hour

I’ve pitched a tent in so many places I couldn’t recount them all. But everytime it was just before night fall because we didn’t want anyone to know we were there since we were literally trespassing on either private or public land either of which could end us up in the pokey or at the business end of a shotgun.

Once I got the boys in and fed it was quiet time… No barking, no talking, & definitely no lights. So I would lie in silence, motionless for hours at a time.  The goodnights were when I was so tired from the days walk i fell asleep swiftly, the tough ones were when my body ached too much to slumber.
I think about that tonite on my 2nd night of fasting and that it probably was the vast repertoire of music in my head that kept me at peace.  tonite I’m listening to Bach prelude in G.
I’m grateful that ginger loaned me her iPhone power booster so I can journal about this adventure as I won’t have much time to after its completion next Thursday. 
Today was productive – I read through chapter 7 of small animal clinical oncology, came up w some new product concepts for chef big dog, started the process of prioritizing my 2014, and then i sat by the riverside basking in the fleeting warmth, shed a few layers & wrote poetry for the first time in years.  It was a good day…
Back to Bach and sleep soon I hope as the third day is when the hunger pangs crescendo

2 Dogs 2,000 Miles

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Win a Neato Robotic Vacuum Cleaner ($400!) #Neato

How often do you vacuum? With two dogs and four cats, all in the house, we vacuum a LOT…and still we know we should vacuum more! Worst of all, we’re just not able to vacuum beneath much…

[[ This is a summary only. Click the title for the full post, photos, videos, giveaways, and more! ]]


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What is the best flea prevention medicine for my puppy?

by occ4m

Question by breleigh81: What is the best flea prevention medicine for my puppy?
Is the flea medicine you can buy at PetCo and PetSmart just as good as the medication you can get from your vet?

Best answer:

Answer by Karen W
If you are having problems with fleas, your vet is your best source. Especially important if it is a very young pup, as these ARE poisons you are dealing with. Tiny amounts of poison, but poison nevertheless.
One thing you can try is to bathe the pup with Dawn dish soap. This should not be used on a regular basis however as it is harsh on the skin and coat.
There is a pill called Capstar available from vet and vet supplies which will kill every flea on a dog or cat within 24 hours, however that is all the longer it works.
For an infestation you need to clean thoroughly to vacuum up all the eggs, also wash the bedding and dry in a HOT dryer.
Be aware that fleas also carry tapewprms, so your vet will probably want to treat the pup for thoseaswell.
We use Frontline on our dogs and do not have a flea problem, and yes, this is an area where many do.

Add your own answer in the comments!

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Riivia Microderm Abrasion Kit #Giveaway (ARV $299 ) Ends 12/1


Riivia Microderm Abrasion Kit
ARV $ 299 
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Brittany Spaniel Puppy

Little Brittany Spaniel


Little Brittany Spaniel puppy playing in the leaves


The post Brittany Spaniel Puppy appeared first on A Place to Love Dogs.

A Place to Love Dogs

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Book Review ~ Christmas in Apple Ridge by Cindy Woodsmall


Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Publish Date: October 9, 2012

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