Last updated: August 26. 2013 8:45PM - 45 Views

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(StatePoint) The holidays are all about spending time with your family and friends. If youíre a pet owner, youíll want to include dogs and cats in the celebration.

Here are some fun ways to get pets into the holiday spirit:

Family Portrait

Donít forget to include pets in your family holiday portrait! Take the opportunity to give them baths or have them professionally groomed so they look their best. If your family coordinates colors, adorn your dog or cat with a matching bow or bandana.

When possible, avoid using a flash. Not only may the bright light cause your pet to jump at that crucial moment, but thereís nothing cute about red eyes on a furry friend.

Give the Gift of Health

ďThe holidays are a great time to show your dog or cat that you care about them.Ē says Tim Blankenbaker with The Nutro Company, a natural pet food company. ďThe perfect gift is one that both tastes great and is good for your petís health.Ē

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, three-fourths of dogs and cats over age three have oral disease. And a petís oral health can affect his or her whole body and well-being. Luckily, a lot of these issues are preventable with daily oral care. While tooth brushing is the gold standard, there are more delicious dental care options, as well, that can make great gifts for pets.

This year, consider giving your dog or cat dental chews that carry the Veterinary Oral Health Council Seal of Acceptance for control of plaque and tartar. For example, Greenies Canine Dental Chews, made by The Nutro Company, are the number one veterinarian-recommended dental chews and are available in special Seasonís Greenies holiday packaging around this time of year.

Resources on pet dental and general health can be found at

Holiday Safety

Holiday dťcor is beautiful to look at, but not all of it is safe for your pet. Either stick to safe species of holiday plants like orchids, or be sure to place your amaryllis, holly and mistletoe, which are poisonous when ingested, well out of your petís reach.

Keep the area around your Christmas tree free of pine needle debris, which can puncture the stomach and intestines on their way through your petís digestive system.

While youíll likely want to share your holiday feast with your pet, do so safely. Table scraps can lead to unnecessary weight gain or other health related complications. Well-meaning visitors unaware of your dog or catís allergies and stomach capacity may overstuff your pet with the wrong kind of food.

No matter how you choose to spend the season with your furry friend, you can make your memories longer-lasting by sharing them with fellow pet-lovers online. You can upload your cutest holiday pet photos and videos to

And then you can safely and happily ring in the new year together.


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