a pet to work is becoming a part of the American
daily work experience. In fact, it is currently
estimated that nearly 20% of businesses allow
companion animals to accompany their pet parents
Results of a recent survey conducted by The
American Pet Products Manufacturers Association
indicated widespread beliefs among those
surveyed. The majority of respondents agreed
that being able to bring their pets to work
would result in:
An increased willingness to work longer
A decrease in absenteeism
Improved relationships with co-workers
An environment that fosters creativity
It would appear that to cultivate a happier
environment at work, business owners and
managers should take a page out of their home
life and welcome pets into the marketplace.
By following some simple tips, you can ensure a
trouble-free holiday season for you and your
• Some common holiday plants are toxic to cats
and dogs. Don’t keep holly, poinsettias, lilies
or mistletoe on or near the floor, where pets
have easy access to them.
• If you have a live tree in your home, don’t
let pine needles accumulate on the floor, as
these needles can perforate the intestinal
lining of dogs and cats. Additionally, trees
should be tethered to a wall or the ceiling to
prevent them from falling on pets.
• Don’t leave unfamiliar extension cords fully
exposed, as these can resemble chew toys, which
could result in serious injury to your dog.
Hide the cords if possible. Don’t leave lights plugged in when you are not
• Don’t let your companion animals have access
to holiday tree water, as it quickly becomes
stagnant and can contain harmful chemicals or
• If you are decorating with tinsel, hang it out
of reach of your pets, especially cats, as they
are known to eat tinsel, which can result in
• This is a good time of the year to replace the
batteries in your smoke detectors. This helps to
ensure the safety of the home and also avoids
alarming your companion animals, as low
batteries will often set off alerts that can
scare your pets.
• Do your gift wrapping on an elevated surface,
where your pets cannot access (and thereby
ingest) string, paper and ribbons that can cause
• Encourage your holiday guests to refrain from
feeding your companion animals human food, as
this can result in diarrhea, vomiting and
• During the stress of the holidays, companion
animals may drink more water, so be extra alert
to providing this basic necessity.
• Post your vet’s phone number in a prominent
location, like your refrigerator. This provides
easy access to necessary information for anyone
visiting your home, should a problem arise.
the season for eating sweets. And with more of
Americans trying to be healthier and choosing
sugar-free products that are sweetened with
artificial sweeteners, there’s a product of which
you, as a pet parent, need to be aware.
Reported in the Journal of the American Veterinary
Medical Association, there is clinical evidence
indicating that canine consumption of Xylitol can
cause precipitous drops in low-blood sugar, bleeding
disorders and severe liver damage, including liver
failure. In the data collected, every dog that
accidentally ingested Xylitol grew ill, and some had to be
euthanized due to the severity of the damage.
Xylitol is a sweetener commonly found in sugar-free
food products, like chewing gum, baked items and
candies, as well as toothpastes. You will want to
take particular care not to leave these products
within the reach of your companion animals.
Authors of the report stressed that all members of
families with dogs should be aware of the possible
negative health consequences. Consumers should be
aware that any product claiming to be sugar-free may
contain xylitol. The researchers also noted that
there was no information available as yet to
indicate the same kind of reaction in cats.
If you have an inspirational or funny
story to share, please send it to
we’d love to hear it! Feel free to include a photo
of your companion animal.
ere are five helpful tips to make sure you are
better prepared for caring for your companion
animals during the winter months.
If your companion animal is older and arthritic,
be sure not to leave her or him outside too long. Dr. Jane suggests using a doggy coat, even if
your dog is going out for a short time. Just as in humans, colder temperatures can make
arthritic joints stiff and painful.
Dogs that tend to walk on sidewalks and streets
should have their paws cleaned upon re-entering the
home. Ice, rock salt and other chemicals can collect
in their pads and cause irritation.
If you live in an area where snows are frequent or
deep, clear a spot in your yard for your dog to
Check outside water bowls frequently during the
day for signs of freezing. For a modest price, you
can obtain a heated bowl to ensure that your pet
will have access to water even when the temperature
Nutrition – Companion animals burn more calories
to stay warm during the cold months. Especially if
your pet will be frequently outdoors, it is advisable
to feed 10 – 20% more food daily.