Pet Hints from Heloise

Posted: Sunday, November 07, 2004

Holiday pet points

Dear Readers: During the holiday season, there are extra precautions to take with your pets, especially at dinnertime. It's tempting to give treats from the table, but don't! Stick to their normal diet people food can cause vomiting, diarrhea and indigestion to pets.

Everyone loves chocolate, but beware with pets in the house. Chocolate contains theobromine (closely related to caffeine), and when taken in large quantities it can be fatal to dogs, especially small dogs. Even a small amount of baking chocolate is especially toxic, so keep it away from your pet.

If you have houseguests, inform them that your animals do not eat human food it's the healthiest thing for your friend.

Also, during the holidays, we tend to put pretty plants around the house, but be careful: Amaryllis, holly and mistletoe should be kept away from pets they are poisonous.

Last, but not least: The holidays are a time for lots of friends and family visiting, but if you have a pet that is frightened of people and noise, this is a scary time for it. Find a quiet room for it and put on some soothing music or the TV to help block out party noise. Keep its food, water and litter box (if it's a cat) nearby. Everyone, including pets, will have a wonderful holiday.


Bell on collar

Dear Heloise: I've heard it's dangerous for cats to wear collars. My cat, Toby, loves to chase birds, and having a collar with a bell attached might warn them when he is sneaking up. Is it true that if they climb trees, the collar could catch on a branch? Is there any type of collar I can use for him that would be safe?

Karen L., via e-mail

Yes, it is true that with a regular leather or material collar, a cat can get caught, but there are collars that are perfect for cats they have an elastic insert. In case it snags on something, the cat can pull free.


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