Thursday, June 27, 2019
Tags Posts tagged with "Christmas"


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Stewart plaid pajamas

Dog pajamasOkay, spare a few moments for a relaxing holiday fantasy:

Your shopping is done; your holiday cards mailed.  You’re stretched out on the couch in your PJs, watching a toasty fire. The eggnog close at hand is spirited. The one thing missing from this nearly perfect Norman Rockwell moment is . . . Fido wearing matching pajamas snoozing beside you.

Yes, Angelinos, you really can make this scene come true at Pajamagram. Not only can you buy dog pajamas, you can buy dog pajamas that match the family’s pajamas.

The minutes are ticking away on your last opportunity to get a photo of your dog with Santa. Make a memory or get ready for next year’s holiday card. But get going now.

The Americana at Brand will hold its last Pet Night on Wednesday, Dec. 18. Go online to purchase your photo package; prices range from $20 (the Comet Package) to $60 (the Rudolph Package) depending on the numbers and sizes of photos and whether you have the photos stored on a DVD and flash drive.

Kuranda bed for shelter dogs

If you still have space in your heart and charitable dollars to give, you can give dogs in Los Angeles Animal Services Shelters the gift of comfort: a Kuranda bed for sleeping off chilly concrete shelter floors.

According to a Los Angeles Times article, Tracy James, a four-year volunteer at the North Central Shelter, is spearheading a campaign to build up donations to  get the beds into Los Angeles shelters. You can also go to the manufacturer’s site and make bed donations to other charities in Los Angeles. We’re even providing directions for making these beds to give to shelters, rescue organization or animal foster families.

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Big Face T-shirts

Dachshund Christmas ornamentPeople who love dogs are the easiest people to find gifts for!

Fido and I have a glorious list of gifts for our friends who have friends who have paws.  We’re just challenged about who should get what. There’s something for all budgets in this list:

  1. Books. There are so many wonderful books out there from the delightful The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs to Mike Ritland’s Trident K9 Warriors; My Tale from the Training Ground to the Battlefield with Elite Navy Seal Canines to one both Fido and I love, Rick Woodford’s Feed Your Best Friend Better; Easy, Nutritious Meals and Treats for Dogs. Woodford takes the mystery of feeding your dog a healthy balanced diet. His book is brimming with information about dogs’ nutritional needs, how to know how much to feed a dog and how to address issues such as allergies, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease and more. One of my favorite charts compares the calories, protein, vitamins and minerals needed by a 50-pound dog with those of a 50-pound girl.  At a glance you can see it all in perspective. Woodford’s recipes are easy and disappear quickly in our house.  He has lots of advice about transitioning a dog to homemade food or supplementing commercial food for better health. Anyone with a dog should have this book.

Hand knit dog bed

One of the best gifts Fido and I gave this season was to a friend whose dog, Denny Covina, was rescued from a Denny’s restaurant in Covina, where he apparently was abandoned.

Denny’s feisty bark and impertinent wiry Mohawk suggest that he is part Terrier.  He’s small enough that he might have a pinch of Chihuahua in him. Then again, he has a longish body that whispers “wired-haired dachshund.” Who knows? And more to the point, who cares? Denny and Joey hold up the terrier side of the morning walking pack proudly.

For Denny’s Mom’s birthday, I made a Snug Harbor Knit Snuggle.

This is one of several knitting projects in the pattern library of the Snuggles Project.

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Charity dollars for dogs

I’m sitting on the couch, envelope knife in hand, with Fido sighing in his sleep and shrugging more comfortably into his dog pillow on the floor.

The appeals for help are rolling in with heart-tugging tales and tear-tumbling photos. If I could, I’d save every dog from the abuse and neglect I’ve been reading about.

And that’s the challenge: I have limited resources and the needs seem to be infinite. Here’s how I handle the problem:

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Custom dog collars

Christmas dog ornamentThe fire is gently winking and Fido and I are checking our lists and trying to decide what to give our favorite friends.  With a little thought, perfect gifts for dogs are easy to find — and don’t need to cost a month’s worth of kibble.

Here are the ideas we’ve come up with so far:

  1. ZiwiPeak Real Meat Jerky Treats for Dogs. Give this and hope the recipient shares! These treats come from New Zealand in lamb, venison or beef. You can buy small packages at Centinela Feed for about $7. Fido prefers the one-pound bag from, which costs $18 to $19, depending on the flavor. These treats are free of grain, added hormones or growth promotants, salt, sugar, coloring, preservatives or filler. Fido can’t get enough of them.
  2. Reflective dog gearReflective gear. Darkness comes early this season. You and your dog can blend into the shadows out of the attention of drivers or other dog walkers. Fido and I like reflective gear for another reason: it’s simply fun and completely green. Fido has a track harness from Estelle’s Safety Reflective Wear that really makes him standout at twilight. In the photo at right, you’ll also notice the reflective leash wrap.  Keep Doggie Safe has a variety of reflective gear as well including leashes, bandanas and collars.
  3. Seat belt restraint. If a dog goes everywhere with his peeps in a car, he needs some sort of restraint to keep him safe in a sudden stop or a traffic accident. Even the most loving dog owners tend to neglect this. Probably the safest way to travel with a dog in a car is with the dog in a crate and the crate well anchored to the car. Fido has a new, soft-sided crate but we don’t yet have straps to keep it secure inside the car. Our friend Red has a seat belt harness.  It’s a basic harness with a long loop where a leash would normally attach.  The seat belt goes through the loop and hooks into its fastener.  There’s just one problem here: Red is unerring in his ability to step on the seat belt latch and release himself. We’ve ordered a new device to try: a Kurgo Auto Zipline. The line attaches to the handholds above each rear door and a special harness attaches to the zipline and the dog.  The dog can move freely in the back seat or even lay down, but can’t climb into the front seat or get thrown around the back of the car. At a cost of about $35 from, it’s worth a try. Other types of restraints including the seat belt harness are even less expensive.
  4. Tagg Tracker. This is the perfect gift for a roaming Rover. It is a GPS system that attaches to a dog’s collar to track his location and activity. The device texts and emails you when Fido gets out. According to its maker, the device allows you to “pinpoint your dog’s whereabouts on the Tagg map.  Then, zoom in and take a look at his exact location on a computer, mobile device or use the free Tagg mobile app.  Need directions? We’ll provide those, too.  Al you have to do is bring the wandering wagger back home. In addition, this $99 device also tracks your dog’s activity to check taht he is getting the 30 to 60 minutes day of exercise that vets recommend.
  5. Custom dog collarsCustom-made leather collar, leash or harness. There is nothing more debonair than a real leather collar on a dog, and a real leather leash is a joy to handle. California Collar Co. offers basic buckle collars from $30 and a basic leash from $28. But there’s more — much more! I’ve been drooling over the decorated leather martingale collars that Fido favors.  The custom collars — ranging in widths from 5/8-inch to two-inches for giant dogs — are works of art. California Collar also has name tags for collars, padlock ID tags, metal hiking bells and double-dog couplers for walking two dogs at once without getting twisted in leashes. And we haven’t even touched on their vegan and waterproof collection.

The wonderful thing about dogs is that they will be delighted with whatever you get. They won’t complain that something isn’t their color. And they will never, ever put you in an awkward regifting situation.

Happy giving from Fido and me!

P.S., we’ve made a second list of gifts for people who love dogs.  What would you add?


It’s that magical time of year filled with food, festivity and friendship.

But many things we look forward to are hazardous to our furry friends.  For example, did you know:

  • Most emergency room visits for pets during Thanksgiving revolve around turkey?
  • Mistletoe berries are poisonous?
  • Those scarlet lovelies — poinsettias — can irrigate pets’ digestive systems?
  • The water used to keep Christmas trees fresh may contain sugar and toxic preservatives?

Turkey Hazards for Dogs

Turkey can be a tempting danger to a dog.

As tempting as it is to give your dog a treat of gravy or golden turkey skin, it can cause pancreatitis. This is a life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas makes insulin and enzymes needed to digest food.

High fat foods can trigger the pancreas to release such large amounts of these enzymes they actually start to digest the pancreas itself. Your dog may get severe abdominal pain, a loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and depression. If so, get your pet to the vet right away.

Pancreatitis can be a one-time event or a chronic condition. Overweight dogs are at higher risk for developing this condition.

Dogs love gnawing on bones.  Cooked turkey bones splinter. Slivers can lodge in a dog’s throat or digestive tract.

And don’t forget the temptations of counter surfing and trash can dumping. A turkey that has been carved and set aside on a counter for several hours may be nurturing salmonella. Salmonella is a bacterium found in the digestive tracts of chicken and turkey.  If it isn’t killed during cooking, it can infect the leftovers.  Salmonella infection causes vomiting, diarrhea, listlessness, fever and a loss of appetite.

Raw meat has another set of dangers contamination with E. coli bacteria and parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii. For both your own and your pet’s health, use good safety measures to avoid contact between raw turkey, counters, dishes, cooking tools or hands.

Packaging Temptations

Holiday goodies come wrapped in plastic, foil, cellophane and other materials that hold scents and flavors. Chewing on these materials can cause a pet to choke or have a blocked digestive tract that may require surgery.

Chocolates, Candies and Beverages

Chocolate — especially unsweetened baking chocolate and dark chocolate — are poisonous to dogs.  Too often that box of See’s left for guests to help themselves too is irresistible to dogs as well, causing diarrhea, seizures or death.

Don’t forget that the sweet scents and flavors of holiday drinks such as eggnog can tempt a dog to toxic tastes of alcohol.

Sugar-free foods may contain xylitol, which can be very toxic to dogs.

Other Problem Foods

Uncooked yeast dough for rolls and breads can expand inside a dog’s stomach, causing pain and a possible rupture of stomach or intestines. Grapes and raisins have an unknown toxin that damages a pet’s kidneys. Macadamia nuts also contain an unknown toxin that affects dogs’ muscles, digestion and nervous system.

Poisonous Plants

Holly (both berries and leaves), mistletoe berries and poinsettia sap all pose dangers for pets. Be sure to keep them out of reach. Potpourri may contain oils that attract curious pets with deadly consequences. Pine needles can range from irritating to the stomach and digestion to toxic. Consider putting a Christmas tree on a scat mat to keep pets away.

Holiday Decorations

Shiny tinsel, rolling glass ornaments, angel hair, flocking and artificial snow all may draw a dog’s attention with dangerous results. Tinsel can block the digestive tract. Ornaments can break, cutting mouths and paws. Angel hair, flocking and artificial snow are all mildly toxic to animals. Christmas trees are often kept fresh with preservatives that have a sweet taste and scent.  Don’t let the dog drink from the Christmas tree stand.

Preventing Opportunities for the Great Escape

With lots of people coming and going, it’s easy for a dog to wander out a door or gate.  This puts the pet at risk of wandering into traffic or getting lost. Either keep the dog in another room or behind a pet gate to prevent escapes.

Protecting Your Dog’s Peace of Mind

Dogs are creatures of habit.  Holidays can turn routines upside down. Despite all the demands of preparing for feasting with guests, don’t neglect regular walks and play time for your dog.  Be sure the dog has a safe quiet place to retire to when the hubbub gets too much. Remember that holiday excitement can make a normally mellow pet edgy, so keep an eye on your dog’s responses.

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