Keep your pet safe this holiday season

Wag Hotels - Holiday Pet Safety Tips by Jose Gonzalez

Avoid an upset stomach
A change of diet, even for one meal, can give your dog or cat severe indigestion and diarrhea. Therefore, don't share your part holiday meal or leftovers with your pet. In addition, secure the garbage to ensure they don't accidently ingest food leftovers. Poultry bones can cause blockages and greasy, spicy and fatty foods can cause stomach upset.

Be aware of toxic plants
Be careful with holiday floral arrangements and Christmas tree decorations. Lilies are commonly used this time of year and all varieties can cause kidney failure in cats. In addition, other common holiday plants such as mistletoe and holly berries can be potentially toxic to pets.

Be aware of alcoholic beverages
If your plans include adult holiday beverages, be sure to place unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot reach them. If ingested, the animal could become very sick and weak.

Be aware of holiday treats
Many popular holiday treats and snacks can be toxic to pets. Seeds and pits from many fruits, chocolate, macadamia nuts, walnuts, coffee, tea, salt, onions, and other foods can be harmful to pets. Cats also love to play with candy wrappers, but ingesting aluminum foil or cellophane can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage.

Cover the Christmas tree water
Christmas tree water may contain fertilizers which if ingested can cause stomach upset. Stagnant tree water can also act as a breeding ground for bacteria, and if ingested a pet could end up with abdominal discomfort, vomiting and diarrhea.

Decorations can be dangerous
Traditional decorations such as ribbons or tinsel, if ingested, can become lodged in the intestines and cause intestinal obstruction. This is a very common problem, particularly with cats. Also take care to prevent your pets from having access to wires and cords from holiday decorations. If chewed, a charged wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock.

Be aware of new toys
Avoid leaving your pet unsupervised with their new holiday toys. New toys that may appear indestructible may pose a chocking hazard or worse, may create an intestinal obstruction.

Reccomended toy: Hard Core Fire Hose Dog Toy. It's a strong and durable toy for the tough guys and it floats. Made from real fire hose material that consists of an outer woven nylon material wrapped around a tough rubber inner core. Squeak "N Fetch features a squeaker inside. It's available in 3 sizes. (Under $10 retail)

Ensure proper identification
Be sure that your pets have proper identification. A tag on their collar with your phone number is quick and easy. The best choice is a microchip. Microchips are permanent and relatively inexpensive. For pets that already have microchips, parents should ensure the phone number/address on the microchip is current.

Be aware of the cold
Remember not to leave your furry friends outside for too long-especially at night or during colder temperatures. Just because they have fur, it doesn't mean that they can withstand sub-zero temperatures.

Think beyond safety… think comfort
The unusual commotion of the holiday season can be stressful on animals as well as humans. Put your pets in a quiet room or quiet area of the house when guests are visiting. Otherwise, check your pet into your local Wag Hotel. Open 24/7/356 we offer a safe, clean and convenient place for your dog to rest during the busy holiday season.

Offers from Wag Hotels:

For those adopting a dog or cat this holiday season we have a special lifetime offer which WAG announced this fall. WAG is offering 15% off all Wag Hotels boarding and daycare-related services for the lifetime of the adopted pet (Adoption had to take place after 8/19/09; the press release is attached)

We are also offer the viewers a free day of "All Day Play," to new customers at all three locations SF, Sacramento and Roseville. Everyone could use one free day of Doggie Day Care!

For information about Wag Hotels visit

Upcoming event:

Wag Hotels Gives Owners and Their Dogs A Fun Way To Get Fit With Thank Dog! Bootcamp

Wag Hotels, the ultimate stay and play resort for pets, beginning in January will offer Thank Dog! Bootcamp, an interactive and fast-paced way for dogs and their owners to get in shape. Thank Dog! is a fitness program that combines a strenuous physical workout for people and basic obedience training for dogs.

Wag Hotels, with locations in San Francisco, West Sacramento and Roseville, is committed to the health and well being of dogs and their owners and wanted to offer a creative, yet challenging fitness program for their clients.

With the country's obesity rate rising for both dogs (44% according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention's latest study) and humans (the Center for Disease Control & Prevention reported 67% in their most recent study of adults 20 years and over), many are looking for ways to slim down and get healthy.

The Thank Dog! Bootcamp classes are run by a certified personal trainer and one physically fit dog trainer. Each class is an hour long and is structured to provide cardiovascular training, obedience training and strength training.

Specific times, locations both at WAG and at local parks, cost and more details are being finalized. Dogs remain on-leash throughout the entire class, listening to their owners' commands and learning to become better-behaved pets.

The owner gets an intense Bootcamp-style workout from the personal trainer while getting tips and instruction on obedience training from the dog trainer.

Thank Dog! is designed for people and dogs at all levels - both physically and behaviorally. Both attend a mandatory consultation and obedience lesson before entering the program. Dogs are evaluated for temperament and their owners are assessed and provided with realistic goals and expectations. Classes include a Yoga mat for consumers and dogs, weights and training collar.

Wag Hotels' primary goal is to provide the best experience for each pet - whether during their supervised day stay, overnight boarding or Thank Dog! fitness classes - making sure pets stay happy, are well socialized and getting great exercise too.

Wag's industry leading approach to pet care, called Wag Care 360, offers the highest quality of all around care for the overall health and well being of every dog or cat.

"Wag Hotels and Thank Dog! Bootcamp were a natural fit for one another as both share the same specialized and innovative approach to pet care," said Wag Hotels President and CEO Richard Groberg.

Reservations are currently being accepted for classes at both locations, for classes beginning in January 2010. To sign up call 888-364-4256. For customer who sign up before 1/1/10 will receive 10% off.

For more information about Thank Dog! Bootcamp, visit

About Jose Gonzalez:

Jose Gonzalez is the Director of Guest Services at Wags Hotels. He is responsible for Guest Services staff training and guest care through the development and application of the company's comprehensive animal services, Wags Care 360.

Gonzalez grew up on a farm in Sacramento County where his affinity for animals developed. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Animal Science from the University of California, Davis, and began his career as a Senior Animal Care Technician in the City of Sacramento's Department of Animal Care Services.

In addition to working with dogs and cats, he also has experience with primates, reptiles, and large cats.

Gonzalez has a true passion for developing the animal care industry. His expertise in disease management, in conjunction with stress and behavioral management, provides the assurance of a professional and safe experience for pets within Wag Hotels.

Now a regular volunteer at the Sacramento Department of Animal Care Services, Gonzalez has also traveled with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), rescuing companion animals stranded and displaced by California wildfires.

Jose is the proud guardian of "Minnie," a Chihuahua mix.

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