Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Hazards and Dangers to Dogs at Christmas ~ Hazards to Dogs in Winter, Snow and Ice

Nearly Christmas and a very happy one to you and your dog.

In all the excitement it is easy to overlook potential hazards and dangers to your dog:
  • Christmas decorations - can be chewed and swallowed. They can break up into sharp fragments.Tinsel can act like a liguture - externally and internally.
  • Drinks. Alcohol is bad for dogs!
  • Smoking. Cigar and cigarette ends are poisonous to dogs
  • Wrappings. Can be chewed and swallowed, may cause digestive problems
  • Turkey bones are lethal. Cooked bones are brittle and will act like knives on the intestines.
  • Too many treats - a big sloppy output!
  • Tree position. If it is at the window where your dog normally looks out - you can imagine the chaos!
  • Crackers. The little gifts can be swallowed.
  • Children. Leave things everywhere that your dog can chew and swallow!
The solution to hazards - a bit of forethought! Put things out of reach. Don't let family and guests give too many treats.

That's just in the home. What about outside?

In the Winter we get cold, damp, snow and ice. All can be hazards to your dog.
Snow can hide all sorts of dangers.

A frozen lake, you can see tree debris on the ice. Is it safe for your dog to walk on? In this case, very unlikely. It is a carp fishing lake and is quite deep. A real danger to your dog.

A list of potential hazards and dangers to your dog are below.
  • Hidden dangers, e.g. holes, broken glass, etc.
  • Slipping and Falling
  • Frozen ponds, lakes, rivers
  • Hypothermia (exposure to cold)
  • Health problems exacerbated by cold
  • Exhaustion
  • Chemicals
  • Frozen ponds, etc. may not bear the weight of your dog.
  • Falling & slipping can cause soft-tissue damage or a broken bone.
  • Older and vulnerable dogs may suffer exposure and exhaustion. A coat is a good idea.
  • Arthritis can be more noticeable. Breathing problems can worsen with cold air.
  • The heart has to work harder. Exhaustion can set in.
  • Salt used to treat icy roads can irritate paws.
  • Anti-freeze and de-icers are toxic. 
And don't forget short-legged dogs (like daschunds) who will find deep snow hard work. They can also get cold stomachs!

Keeping a towel in your vehicle is a good idea, so your dog can have a rub-down after the walk.

Washing paws if you've walked on treated roads is a good idea.

Paw wax applied before the walk can help prevent slipping and also protect the pads.

And don't forget to keep chemicals well out of doggie reach!

Our old greyhound wrapped up nice and warm in TWO fleece-lined coats. There wasn't a lot of snow about, but it was below freezing and bitterly cold.
So that's a few ideas on dogs and cold weather and some problems for dogs in snow.

It's all common sense really - you will probably think of other things to add to the list!

Despite all the potential dangers, enjoy Christmas and Winter with your dog! Have a good one.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

A Dog's Fairy Tale of Christmas

We stopped at a park that was covered in snow. This was somewhere new! My owner removed my collar and then threw a ball. I chased after it. We hadn't played this game for a long time! But when I turned back he had gone. Puzzled, I sniffed around, but there were no familiar smells. I was lost and alone. So I wandered.

Elsewhere in the park I saw a big crowd of happy, smiling people. Santa was there with his sleigh and reindeer. He was handing out presents. I rushed over, but there were angry shouts, and I was chased away.

Then I came across a woman sitting on a bench. She had a dog with her. I approached, tail wagging, but she shook a stick at me. Feeling sad and unwanted, I wandered on.

I didn't understand it at all. I tried to be a good dog. I was clean in the house and didn't cause trouble. So why had I been left all alone in a world I didn't understand?

It began to snow. The wind cut right through me. I was lost, cold, hungry, and frightened.

I passed a shop doorway. There was a sad old man sitting there. He softly called to me. Cautiously I went to him. He rubbed my ears and spoke gently. I lay down beside him, and he put his coat over me.

Presently we got up and I walked by his side. We went to a big hall. It was warm inside. Lots of people came over and made a fuss of  me. I was welcome!
They gave me a big bowl of turkey and carrots, covered with gravy. Afterwards there was music and everyone sang carols.
Much later I was given a blanket to sleep on. It was on the floor next to my new friend. I climbed onto his bed. He put his arm around me. There we lay, man and dog, a pair of unwanted and unloved strays. But that day I had enjoyed good food, warmth, kindness, and companionship. I was content.
The church bells rang in Christmas Day.

Copyright  Trevor Williams
You may use this story in its entirety on your blog or website, but please keep the links back to my blog, or give an appropiate credit linking back. Thanks.

Whether you have two or four legs, Winter is a cruel time to be sleeping rough on the streets. Christmas in particular is a lonely time. January is even harder, it is colder and the Xmas shelters are shut. So, this year please remember stray and unwanted dogs. Don't forget people either - a dog is often a homeless person's only companion.
A charity that I support, St. Mungo's in London, takes in homeless people and their dogs! (For more info please click on the link)

Saturday, 19 December 2009



It’s Christmas Eve folks
In the stray pound
An old dog said to me
Won't see another one
And then he lay down
Cried in his misery
I turned my face away
And dreamed about home

I hope I’m the lucky one
Somebody has just come in
I've got a feeling
This year will be for me
So Happy Christmas
I love you everyone
I can see a better time
When all my hopes come true

They've got big houses to live in
They've got mountains of food
But the cold wind goes right through you
It's no place for an old dog
When you first took me home
On a cold Christmas Eve
You promised me that
Happiness was waiting for me

I could have been a good dog
A friend for life
You took my dreams from me
When I first met you
I did my best to please you
But you left me all alone
Can’t make it on my own
I built my dreams around you

They should never be like that  - they should be like this! Safe, secure, and loved.

So please remember our doggy friends this Christmas. Do something to relieve their misery.
Make a New Year resolution that you will keep!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Merry Christmas to You All ~ Christmas is for the WholeWorld ... and for Every Living Being (especially Dogs!)

 Christmas is for the WholeWorld ... and for Every Living Being (especially Dogs!)

Christmas is not a time or a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas in your heart.
John Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)

So Merry Christmas to You All (please forgive omissions and mistakes!)


C Pождеством Xристовом (S rojdestvom Kristovom) *  Срећан Божић (srecan bozic)
圣诞快乐 (shèng dàn kuài lè) *  merii kurisumasu  * miilaad majiid
สุขสันต์วันคริสตร์มาส (souksaan wan Christmas)  *  Z Rizdvom Hrystovym
весела коледа (vesela koleda)  * vrolijk Kerstfeest   *  glædelig jul  *  sretan Božić
kala xristougenna  *   Krismas ki subhkamna  *  boldog karácsonyt  *  gleðileg jól
Nollaig shona *  buon Natale  *  seun-tan chu-ka-hae-yo *  felix dies Nativitatis
meri Kirihimete  *  god jul  *  Wesołych Świąt  * feliz Natal  * un Crăciun fericit
Nollaig chridheil *  krisimas yakanaka   *  vesele vianoce  *  feliz Navidad
Noeliniz kutlu olsun  *  Mừng Chúa Giáng Sinh   *  Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo  *  Naya Saal Mubarak Ho  *  Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo!

 Woof-Woof !!!

My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple : loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?
Bob Hope (1902-2003)

I extend the thoughts in the quotes to dogs and all other living creatures.

Read the dog prayer's in the previous post!

And a Special Christmas Wish from My Greyhounds Boris and Olive

Don't forget to get those free dog treat recipes - just click on the banner below. It is safe and without obligation. Cook some up as a healthy Christmas treat for youur dogs. Or make a load to give to your local rescue!


The Victorian greetings cards etc come from my personal collection

A Dog's Christmas Prayers ~ Don't forget our canine friends this Christmas

 Here are a couple of dog's prayers for you to consider this Christmas. Our canine friends need our help all year, but Christmas is special, and times are hard for unwanted dogs...

A Stray Dog's Prayer

Dear God, please send me somebody who'll care!
I'm tired of running, I'm sick with despair.
My body is aching, it's so racked with pain,
and dear God I pray, as I run in the rain.
That someone will love me and give me a home,
a warm cozy bed and a big juicy bone.

My last owner tied me all day in the yard
Sometimes with no water, and god that was hard.
So I chewed my leash, and God I ran away.
To rummage in garbage and live as a stray.
But now God, I'm tired and hungry and cold,
and I'm so afraid that I'll never grow old.

They've chased me with sticks and hit me with stones,
while I run the streets just looking for bones!
I'm not really bad, God, please help if you can,
or I have become just a "Victim of Man!"
I'm wormy dear God and I'm ridden with fleas,
and all that I want is an Owner to please!

If you find one for me God, I'll try to be good,
and I won't chew their shoes, and I'll do as I should.
I'll love them, protect them and try to obey....
when they tell me to sit, to lie down or to stay!
I don't think I'll make it too long on my own,
cause I'm getting so weak and I'm so all alone.

Each night as I sleep in the bushes I cry,
cause I'm so afraid God, that I'm gonna die.
And I've got so much love and devotion to give,
that I should be given a new chance to Live!
So dear God, please answer my prayer,
and send me someone who will REALLY care..

That is, dear God, if YOU'RE REALLY there!

author unknown

Thanks to for this:
 A Christmas Shelter Dog’s Poem

 As you gather this holiday season to spend time with friends and family and your own beloved furry family members, take just a moment to think of those dogs and cats who sit alone and unwanted,…

The poem is reproduced below:

A Christmas Shelter Dog’s Poem

’Tis the night before Christmas and all through the town,
every shelter is full—we are lost, but not found.
Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare,
we hope every minute that someone will care.
They’ll come to adopt us and give us the call,
“Come here, Max and Sparkie — come fetch your new ball!”
But now we sit here and think of the days
we were treated so fondly — we had cute, baby ways.
Once we were little, then we grew and we grew.
Now we’re no longer young and we’re no longer new.
So out the back door we were thrown like the trash.
They reacted so quickly — why were they so rash?
We “jump on the children,” “don’t come when they call,”
we “bark when they leave us,” “climb over the wall.”
We should have been neutered, we should have been spayed,
now we suffer the consequence of the errors THEY made.
If only they’d trained us, if only we knew,
we’d have done what they asked us and worshiped them, too.
We were left in the backyard, or worse, let to roam.
Now we’re tired and lonely and out of a home.
They dropped us off here and they kissed us goodbye…
“Maybe someone else will give you a try.”
So now here we are, all confused and alone
in a shelter with others who long for a home.
The kind workers come through with a meal and a pat,
with so many to care for, they can’t stay to chat.
They move to the next kennel, giving each of us cheer…
we know that they wonder how long we’ll be here.
We lay down to sleep and sweet dreams fill our heads
of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds.
Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears –
our friends filled with emptiness, worry, and fear.
If you can’t adopt us and there’s no room at the inn –
could you help with the bills and fill our food bin?
We count on your kindness each day of the year –
can you give more than hope to everyone here?
Please make a donation to pay for the heat…
and help get us something special to eat.
The shelter that cares for us wants us to live,
and more of us will, if more people will give.
Author Unknown

Answer a dog's prayer and do something good for dogs this Christmas!

It doesn't matter what as long as it is positive and life-enhancing.

  • Give your time
  • Give some money
  • Donate some goods for resale
  • Donate clean blankets or quilts
  • Donate some decent dog food, beds, toys
  • Volunteer at your local rescue
  • Start a campaign
  • Contact the media (local radio or paper - or why not go national) about your concerns or to make an appeal
  • Write to your MP
  • Make some dog coats
  • Make some healthy dog treats (click on the banner below to get a free download of dog treat recipes)

    Please just do something for our canine friends, who give us so much and ask for so little in return!

    Friday, 4 December 2009

    Give a dog a gift of love this Christmas

    Please consider making a donation to a dog rescue (shelter) this Christmas.
    It doesn't have to be a lot - even your spare change could make a difference.

    You can donate goods as well. Things that a dog rescue can put to use or sell to raise cash.
    Most rescues will have a list of things that they most need - just ask.

    Food, dog coats, dog toys, bedding will always be welcome.

    You can usually buy gifts or xmas cards for family and friends.
    Many charities also have donation schemes like sponsor a dog, buy a vaccination, etc. The recipient will receive a certificate which describes the gift that you have bought. I quite often do this, especially if I am sending gifts overseas.

    The larger charities such as RSPCA, Dogs Trust, PDSA , Blue Cross will have established gift schemes.
    But don't forget your small local rescue - they can really struggle to survive, and if they have to close many of the dogs will have nowhere to go (and may have to be put down!).

    There are specialist dog charities as well, such as Greyhounds In Need and the Retired Greyhounds Trust.
    Greyhounds particularly need help - they finish racing at 4 years old , or sooner, and face a very uncertain future. Thousands of healthy greyhounds are destroyed every year.

    If you want to support people as well as dogs, you can make your gift to Guide Dogs for the Blind, Hearing Dogs,etc.
    One of my favourites is St. Mungo's. They are a charity for the homeless and will allow homeless people to bring their dogs with them. A dog is often a homeless person's only friend and companion. Winter on the streets is hard on both dogs and people.

    That's just a few ideas to get you going. Go on - give a dog a gift of love this Christmas!

    Just a final plea. Make a New Year Resolution to get involved. Contact a dog charity and ask what YOU can do to help. Get out there and make a difference to our doggy friends!


    Tuesday, 1 December 2009

    A Christmas Wish For Moses ~ from IFAW ~ An inspiring story

    This is a truly inspirational story.
    I received the following e-mail from Fred O'Regan, CEO International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW):

    Orphaned as a small child in a poor South African township, 12-year old Moses lives alone at the local dump, surrounded by gangs and drug users.

    Foraging through mounds of rubbish for food...shoeless and freezing during the cold, lonely nights - every day is an epic struggle.

    And yet, the most amazing thing about Moses isn't how he survives, but who he survives with.

    You see, despite his tragic circumstances, Moses spends his desperate days at the dump caring for more than 20 dogs whose owners have died or been killed.

    This Christmas, I hope you'll consider giving something truly meaningful to those you love. An IFAW Gift of Life that will help bring an end to the suffering of dogs and cats in the poorest places on earth.

    IFAW's Dog and Cat Rescue Project in Johannesburg brings vet care to the pets of those like Moses who could never afford to take care of pets on their own. Quite often, we come across sick, impoverished or malnourished individuals like Moses who need extra assistance for both themselves and their pets.

    Thanks to the incredible generosity of IFAW supporters like you, we've been able to spay, neuter and fully vaccinate all of Moses' dogs. And we've provided Moses with clothes and food, medical care, and school tuition so that he'll be better able to look after his dogs for years to come!

    Moses' story shows how much people love animals and come to depend on them even in the worst of times. And how much every Gift of Life, no matter how big or small, can help make a real difference.

    Please help me make more Christmas wishes come true this season. With a gift of just £15 or more you'll receive a beautiful gift card and Gift of Life Certificate, showing how your gift in a loved one's name is saving the lives of animals.

    This is not a gift that will simply be opened and then forgotten. The donation you make in your loved one's name will help more people like Moses who can't afford to provide basic care for their pets.

    Thank you for your kindness this Christmas season.

    With Gratitude,

    Fred O'Regan

    P.S. It takes £600 to provide veterinary care for 50 dogs and cats in South every gift counts! Give before December 10th to ensure your gift package arrives in time for Christmas!

    What an inspiring story. This Christmas please consider giving a Xmas Gift to an animal charity.