Monday, 5 December 2011

Don't Forget Your Furry Friends This Christmas!

There is no question that dogs and cats increase our quality of life. They are family, and they make a house a home. They are there for us when we get home, and they love us unconditionally- no matter what we look like that day. They sense when we are sad or sick and attend to us. They agree that family nap time is the best time of day.

Is it any wonder that my best friends are dogs?

And of course they love the holidays. More people to love, more food to eat, and, if they are lucky, a stocking of their very own. But there are a few ways in which we have to protect our furry friends over the holidays. Here are a few tips to keep your furry family members safe this season.

As we prepare for the holiday season, it is important to remember that many of our festive traditions can be harmful to our four-legged friends.

Keep your pet seasonally safe with the following tips — on behalf of Iams Home 4 the Holidays

Mmmmmm… Chocolate….
Although Fido or Fluffy may be attracted to the smell and taste of chocolate it will make them very sick if ingested. Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical toxic and even fatal to dogs in sufficient quantities.

Holiday Tree Safety
As the centerpiece of holiday fun, the tree can pose danger to your pet

-Standing water at the base of the tree can contain fertilizers and bacteria from stagnation so make sure this water is not accessible to your pet

-Also consider anchoring your tree to the ceiling using string or rope to prevent this joyful holiday prop from falling on your animal

Did you know?
Many holiday plants, while festive and fun, 
can be poisonous to pets if ingested including:

• Ivy
• Holly
• Poinsettia

Festive Safety Facts

-Tinsel – can cause severe intestinal blockage if swallowed

-Ribbons and bows – can be chewed or swallowed so keep these packed away

-Lights – strings of merry illumination contain methylene chloride, which can be fatal to pets

-Ornaments - hang these treasured decorations higher on your tree to avoid animals playing with them

-Extension cords – keep all extension cords away from your pets. Where possible, tie cords out of the way

-Snow globes – often contain antifreeze and should be placed well out of reach to avoid breakage

Dressing for success
Avoid the temptation to tie ribbon and bows around your pet’s neck. Although adorable, these festive additions can become a choking hazard if not properly monitored.

To learn more visit

Of course not all animals have it so good. There are a great many animals who need good homes with loving families. Consider opening up your homes and hearts to a furry friend in need this year. Either by adopting a homeless pet or donating to a shelter. 

This season Iams Home 4 the Holidays Kicked off its 13th annual pet adoption drive
- a program to help place 1.5 million pets into loving homes this season.

Iams Home 4 the Holidays, one of the world’s largest pet adoption programs, has kicked off its annual adoption drive with the goal of finding homes for 1.5 million orphaned pets across North America. Now in its 13th year, the program, which runs from October 1, 2011 through January 3, 2012, has helped 5.8 million pets find loving homes across the globe.  This year, Iams will again work in conjunction with founding partner Helen Woodward Animal Center, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and more than 3,500 animal organizations worldwide to encourage pet adoption.  In addition, Iams will also donate 5 million meals to animals in need at adoption and rescue centers through its Bags 4 Bowls program.

“Only 45 per cent of dogs and cats admitted into shelter care are adopted out, leaving many perfectly-fit family companions without a home,” said Barbara Cartwright, Chief Executive Officer for the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies. “Iams Home 4 the Holidays celebrates the experience of adoption and the love and companionship found through bringing home an animal in need.”

While finding loving homes for orphaned pets is critical and the core of the program, the campaign is also designed to provide shelters and rescue centers with much needed food donations. With the help of consumers, the Iams Bags 4 Bowls program aims to donate 5 million meals to animals housed in participating organizations.

“Each year, as many as 4 million orphaned dogs and cats are euthanized due to shelter overcrowding– that is approximately one pet every eight seconds,” said Mike Arms, founder of the adoption drive and president of Helen Woodward Animal Center. “We’ve been a part of the adoption drive for 13 years now and have really seen the benefit of what this program can do for animals, our employees and the families who adopt.”
Canadians can participate in the program in more ways than one. Lend a hand by simply:

•    Visiting the Iams Facebook page and clicking to “Like” the page or various messages, photos, videos, etc. For each “Like” comment, photo posted, etc., Iams will donate meals to participating animal shelters.

•    Becoming a fan of the Iams Facebook page ( and creating a custom adoption announcement or holiday card to share the news of their new four legged family member or just send a season’s greeting to their family and friends. For each card created and shared, Iams will donate meals to participating animal shelters

•    Purchasing specially-marked packages of Iams dog or cat food during the duration of the campaign. For every specially-marked package sold, Iams will donate one bowl of food to a participating Iams Home 4 The Holidays animal organization.

Iams Home 4 the Holidays strives to educate about the importance of adoption so that every pet adopted goes to a permanent, loving home. Those who adopt through the program will receive an Iams adoption kit loaded with important information about nutrition, training and proper care to ensure their relationship with the new animal starts off on the right paw. “Since its inception, Iams Home 4 the Holidays has seen 5.8 million pets find loving, forever homes and that truly is a gift that keeps on giving,” said Maria Beatriz Rodriguez, Iams general manager. “We recognize that not everyone is in the position to welcome a pet into their home. However, we still want to empower consumers to get involved and our Bags 4 Bowls program enables people to do just that.”

To learn more about how to get involved in Iams Home 4 the Holidays and the Bags 4 Bowls program, including details about pets available for adoption, fun ways to donate meals and quick access to informative content and tips, visit

About Iams Home 4 the Holidays (IH4TH)
As one of the most successful pet adoption programs in the world, IH4TH partners with thousands of animal organizations dedicated to finding forever homes for orphaned pets. Founded by Helen Woodward Animal Center and supported by Iams, IH4TH began in 1999 with just 14 participating animal shelters in San Diego County. Since it began 13 years ago, IH4TH – along with more than 3,500 pet adoption centers – has helped 5.8 million families experience the joy of pet adoption, including nearly 1.1 million pet adoptions from 2010. For more information, please visit

About CFHS
Since 1957, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) has been working to improve conditions for animals across the country. With member humane societies and SPCAs across Canada, the CFHS is the national voice on animal welfare in Canada. It uses this voice to liaise with animal welfare organizations, government, the public, industry, the scientific community, educators and the media to end animal suffering. Find out more at

About Helen Woodward Animal Center
Helen Woodward Animal Center is a private, non-profit organization where “people help animals and animals help people.” Founded in 1972 in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., the Center provides services for more than 57,000 people and thousands of animals annually. Helen Woodward Animal Center is also the creator of the international Home 4 the Holidays pet adoption drive and the Animal Center Education Services program, teaching the business of saving lives to animal welfare leaders from around the world.