Holiday Pet Hazards

For our pets, the holidays are a time of excitement, new smells, strange house guests, and holiday decorations.  As we all know, there is always a lot of food during the holiday season and a new fresh tree in your beautiful home.  We all have heard stories about pets eating something they shouldn’t have or  stories about the kitty and the Christmas tree.  Most of the time, these mishaps result in funny anecdotes that we recount fondly with our families.   However, sometimes they can have serious consequences.

Celebrating the holidays with this green eyed beauty is such a pleasure!

The following foods are dangerous to pets that eat them:

  • Chocolate
  • Nuts
  • Fatty Foods
  • Bones
  • Candy
  • Alcohol – careful where you place your glass!
  • Onions & Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Bread and cookie dough


Make sure these foods are out of reach, especially if your pet is a notorious counter-jumper.

Ask your guests to avoid feeding any food to your pets without checking with you first.  Sure,

your pets will give them the “help me I am starving” look, but please tell your guests right away

what is off limits for your furry ones!


Dangers of Holiday Decorations for Pets:

Tinsel & Ribbon: Cats tongues are covered with little hook like structures and can hold on to the tinsel or ribbons making ingestion and obstruction a common holiday occurrence.

Plants: Poinsettias, Holly and Mistletoe:  There are many beautiful artificial silk plants if you want to be festive. These popular holiday plants are poisonous to cats and dogs.

Sharp objects, toys, decorations:  Keep an eye on your decorations. Pets are curious and will mistake your decorative elf with bells and buttons for their fleece toy.

Dressing up your pet:  We all love to dress up our pets!  Santa hats, elf vests, reindeer ears and the list goes on.  Keep a close eye on their new clothing attire. They can easily start chewing or ripping up their new clothes and possibly ingest it.  If you notice  that your pet doesn’t like to wear the item, be safe and take it off.  Instead, take a quick selfie picture with your pet and new holiday wear.  As they say, a picture lasts a lifetime.


A house full of family, friends and excited children can be overwhelming for anyone, but

especially for pets.  Create a safe place for your pet that is off limits to visitors so they can

escape when they need the space.  Also, never force your pet to socialize when they are already

stressed out and fearful.


Wishing you a safe and fun filled holiday season for you and your pet!


Are you ready for the Holiday Season?

     It’s that time of year again and there are so many things to do!  Making sure the luggage has wheels, passports are still current, guestrooms need a quick once over and the list goes on! Don’t forget to put the always important furry kids on your to do list also!

Here is a quick overview of some commonly forgotten pet-related holiday readiness items:


Allie massaging our boarding guest! Look at those hot pink nails!

Boarding:  Most boarding facilities require some vaccines and tests to be updated every 6 months.  Call and ask your pet care provider what they require. If your pet has medical needs, call and talk to the care provider to ensure they are capable of taking care of your pet.  If you are boarding at PAH, all of our boarding facilities are equipped for medical-boarding, just give us a call to set up the specifics for you loved one. Boarding facilities also fill up months in advance. Be sure to call now for the holidays.

Road trip:  Make sure you get a list of pet-friendly hotels on the route you are taking. New surroundings can excite your pet so before opening the car door, make sure your curious little one is secured before they try to bolt out the door! Call your pet-friendly hotel to confirm if your pet needs certain vaccinations, as well as to confirm they allow your pet’s breed.

Make sure you have your pets:

  • Vaccinations
  • Medical history and current medications
  • I.D. tags
  • Leash
  • Collar/harness

Plan your destination and see what local animal hospitals are near the freeway route you are taking.  Make a note of any 24 hour emergency hospital as well.


Appointment at the groomers:  Groomers get booked quickly.  You know your aunt has terrible allergies, so don’t wait until the last minute to get your pets groomed, trimmed, and washed. If you are a PAH client, you can always add a bath and nail trim onto to any appointment or make a special appointment.

Appointment with your Vet: Tell your pet’s doctor that your pet will be boarding or that you will be taking them with you on a road trip. If you know one of them is anxious, sensitive to change of diet, etc. speak with their doctor about options for reducing their anxiety.  If your pet is on medication or on a prescribed diet, make sure you have plenty as well.  If you are flying across the states and taking the furry kids with you, some airlines request a health certificate.  Your veterinarian will issue your pet’s health certificate as near to the date of travel as possible, but not more than 21 days before travel.  If you are unsure about the airline carrier’s protocols, give them a call or visit to get more information!

Staying home to host: Ensure that your guests are aware that there are certain foods that cannot be given to family pets. Check out our past blog  for a list of unsafe foods for pets. And remember, there is nothing more uncomfortable than having a family pet with a smelly coat and long nails loving and jumping on you, so be sure to give us a call for a bath and nail trim!

Whether you are traveling with your pets or having family come over to your home, there are matters at hand to be aware of.   Get ready and prepared now to save yourself the headache later. Our pets love to be involved in family activities and they should be -They are family!




New Year’s Resolutions for the Pet-Obsessed

Soldier Girl had a fabulous recovery in 2013 from a car accident that badly damaged her back legs.

Although your friends are all talking about their plans for a new diet or daily run resolution, let’s be honest, the only resolution you want to make is the one that involves little work and your favorite four-legged kid.  Trust us, you’re not alone. We also want to do nothing more than spend all day cuddling with our pets.

Here is our list of top resolutions for pet-obsessed people in 2014:


Measure Your Pet’s Food

The easiest thing you can do in 2014 to help your pet stay health is to portion control what they eat. As cute as a chubby pug is, the health consequences to over eating are alarming! Check out our blog post for more information. Every bag of pet food comes with guidelines for how much to feed, and although not the best resource, this is definitely a good place to start! As these are general guidelines, calling your PAH doctor or checking with us at your pet’s next wellness exam is the best way to find out exactly what they should be eating.


More Playtime

You know your pet is dying to spend every waking moment with you, so why not indulge them with 5 to 10 extra minutes a day of undivided attention. Good for both you and your pet, studies have shown that spending time with animals can increase your health and lower your stress!


Oral hygiene is a must

Both as a money saver and a way to help keep your pet pain free, good oral health in the New Year cannot be stressed enough. We see so many pets that are in need of a good dental hygiene that we can’t help but have this be on the resolution list. This is one of the best ways to keep your pet healthy, and vet bills low. If your pet is not keen on you sticking a toothbrush in their mouth, try dental chews, pet-specific oral rinses, or speak with your pet’s doctor for other alternative brushing options.


Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

Nothing keeps an old dog going like a little mental stimulation. Research has shown that pets that have regular brain stimulation are less likely to have cognitive deterioration. The easiest way to keep them mentally active is through learning and practicing new tricks. Food puzzle and “brain teaser” toys are also great to keep your pet thinking. A few times a week, put your pet’s food in a giant Kong and let them play for their meal. This way they get a pre-portioned amount, no extra treats, and work their brain!


Update their microchip

As the economy begins to rise up a bit, many people have found themselves moving into new homes, but rarely do we remember to update our pet’s microchips when these moves happen. If your pet is lost and the information is outdated, it may be difficult to get you and your pet reunited. Start the New Year off by contacting your pet’s microchip company to update their information. If you are a PAH client, give us a call, we can pull up your original sign-up form, give you any information you need, and let you know how to contact the microchip company.


New Activity together

Our last New Year’s resolution is to try a new activity with your pet. If you are looking to increase your activity level in 2014, this may mean a run on the beach. It could also mean volunteering together, getting involved in animal-assisted therapy, fostering a pet in need, or other social activity. If you are more of a good book and coffee person, try the San Diego Humane Society pet café. Each week, the Humane Society hosts a café and pet socialization hour at one of their locations throughout San Diego County. More information can be found on their website.



No matter what you choose for your New Year’s resolution, we hope that you and your pets have a fabulous New Year’s Eve and a great beginning to the New Year!