There’s no doubt that the holidays are stressful for people, but holidays with Pets shouldn’t be! Holidays with Pets should be stress-free. Here are 10 tips and tricks to make sure that you and your Pet have a happy holiday.
1) Don’t let them eat human food. Let’s be honest. One of the best parts of the holidays is all of the delicious food—if you’re a human, that is. But human food can be harmful to Pets. Holidays with Pets should also include delicious treats, but don’t feed them scraps from the table, and make sure they aren’t rooting through the garbage when you’re not looking.
2) Take your dog on a walk to see the holiday lights! Lots of times, parks or gardens will put on a light show that’s dog friendly. If you live in Oregon, check out the Oregon Garden in Silverton. You can also just take a walk around the neighborhood!
3) Making holiday cookies? Make some for your Pet too! Of course, you’ll have to alter Grandma’s famous recipe a little to make sure it’s safe for Pets to eat. Here are a few recipes for cat treats, and be sure to check out these delicious (or so we’re told) peanut butter dog treats.
4) If you have a tree for decoration, make sure to place glass, or fragile ornaments out of your Pet’s reach. Cats are notorious for swatting at ornaments, and dogs are often oblivious to the actions of their tails. Keep this in mind while you’re decorating your tree to keep Pets and ornaments safe.
5) Same goes for tinsel, or other long and stringy decorations. For some reason or another, cats seem to be especially attracted to tinsel, and often try to eat it. Best case scenario, you’re pulling tinsel out of a place you wish you weren’t. Worst case, the tinsel gets tangled in their intestines causing blockage, or even puncturing the lining—this results in sickness and can even be fatal. Play it safe, and keep tinsel and stringy ornaments far out of reach.
6) Stay in your routine. Sort of like small children, Pets thrive when you give them a regular routine. Try to stick to what you’ve already established—feed them at their normal times, and if they are used to a walk to the mailbox every day, make sure that happens too.
7) Make sure they have a quiet space to retreat to. If you have especially loud or rowdy guests, make sure that your Pet has somewhere quiet and relaxing to stay. Remember that not all your guests may be used to spending the holidays with Pets.
8) Keep them warm. Most of us associate this time of year with snow and cold weather. Remember that if you feel cold, your Pet probably does too. Don’t keep them outside, and get them a sweater for walks. Amazon offers tons of Christmas-themed Pet sweaters, like this one, so that your Pet can be cute, warm and festive.
9) Have Santa Paws pay them a visit on Christmas morning. You know, Santa Paws – giver of tennis balls and catnip? Wrap a present or two for your Pet, and open it with them on Christmas morning. Keep in mind that their noses are keen, and if they get the chance, they’ll sniff out the gift and tear it open prematurely (especially if it involves treats). Keep edible presents out of reach until you’re ready to give them to the little detective. This tradition is especially fun if you have small (human) kids.
10) Most importantly, be sure to give your Pet lots of love and snuggles!