December 2010

The holiday season is all about spending time with those you love. And for pet parents, these memory-making moments are definitely not exclusive to human friends and family. That is why we’re sharing ideas to help you include your pets in your seasonal festivities. Every member of your household, including those of the four-legged variety, can experience all the sights, sounds and smells the holidays have to offer with you.


How to Include Your Pets in the Holiday Fun

The holidays can be a confusing time for companion animals. The house is filled with smells of food they are not allowed to taste, a tree they are not allowed to climb and a collection of brightly wrapped boxes they are not allowed to chew. It’s enough to put even the best-behaved pet onto the naughty list!

While there are things you should watch out for to keep your pets safe during the holidays—such as tinsel and sweets—you can also include your feline and canine loved ones in pet-friendly variations of the season’s most time-honored traditions.

Tip #1

Deck the halls with chew toys and catnip.

With all the presents being exchanged, it only makes sense that your dog or cat receives a gift of their own. Get creative this year and make a homemade present to keep them busy! Follow these DIY instructions from the ASPCA to make a catnip toy for your cat. For dogs, you can make biscuits they’re sure to love. If you’re not the DIY type, some safe holiday options include puzzle toys stuffed with healthy foods for pooches and interactive cat dancers and stuffed catnip toys for kitties. Read more holiday safety tips from the ASPCA.

Tip #2

Include the party animals!

If you’re having a seasonal soirée, let your pets mix and mingle with your guests. While you’re busy with hosting duties, designate a close family member or friend to keep track of your pets to ensure they are getting the attention they need and avoiding any trouble spots like the tree. If your pets are not social butterflies, give them a spot of their own to relax in that is away from all the commotion. Stock the area with food, water, familiar toys, a litter box for cats and a comfortable place to sleep.

Tip #3

Bring your pets along for the ride.

They say home is where the heart is, but in the case of your loyal feline or canine companions, home is where you are! Consider bringing your pets along with you on your holiday visits, rather than boarding them. Follow these car travel tips from the ASPCA® experts:

  • Bring along a piece of home, like your pets’ favorite floor cushion or toy, to make the trip more comfortable.

  • Three to four hours before hitting the road, serve your pets a light meal to hold them over until you arrive at your final destination.

  • Make sure your pets are wearing a collar and an ID tag with your usual contact information. Also, consider adding a temporary travel tag to their collar that includes your cell phone, destination phone number or any other relevant details.

  • Take plenty of bottled or tap water from home for your pets as drinking water they are not used to could result in an upset stomach.

  • Make sure your cats are in a safely secured carrier. Dogs will need to be in a crate or secured with a safety harness if they’re riding in a seat.

Traveling by air? Check out these tips for safe air travel with your pet.

Top 5  Holiday Gift Ideas  from the ASPCA’s  Online Store

For the Frisky Kitty:

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FroliCat Bolt
Laser Toy

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For the Determined Dog:

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Linkables—A Treat Dispensing Puzzle Toy

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For the Fashion-Forward Pet:

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Initial Pet Tag

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For the Animal-Loving Child:

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Amazing Pet Tricks Children’s Book

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For the Vocal Pet Lover:

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ASPCA Message

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Pet Speak: A Customer's Story

My Golden Retriever, Chloe, got sick and I was unable to afford the aggressive treatment that was required to keep her healthy. When she passed away, not only did I lose my pet, but I lost my companion.

A few years later, my daughter surprised me with a Golden Retriever puppy named Kaylee for Christmas!

I immediately bought ASPCA Pet Health Insurance because if something ever happens to her, I want the freedom to be able to explore all the medical options available. As I have health insurance for the human members of my family, it only makes sense to have it for the furry ones as well!

— Michael B., Athens, GA

At ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, we’re pet parents too, so we care about the pets we protect, like Kaylee.

Tell us your story!

For more information on keeping your pets healthy and happy, please visit

Conditions discussed in this e-newsletter are not necessarily covered by every ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan. Please review your individual policy for specifics by visiting the Member Center online at or call our customer service line at 1-866-204-6764.

This newsletter is not intended to provide advice on individual pet health or behavioral matters or to substitute for consultation with a veterinary doctor.

While the above testimonial may include examples of recent claim payouts, reimbursement is subject to the terms and conditions of your plan. Identifying information has been changed.