I don’t know about you, but two of the things I’m most thankful for everyday are my two faithful pups! They provide me with joy, companionship and unconditional love that I don’t know how I could survive without. They go everywhere with me and, of course, I tend to share everything with them, so the Holidays are a fun and busy time for all of us. Here are a few things to keep in mind this holiday season to be sure you can keep your pets involved, but also safe and happy through the most hectic time of the year!
As I mentioned before, my pets pretty much go everywhere with me. I’m fortunate to come from a pet-loving family and my dogs are welcome at family gatherings where they can visit their “cousins” and have rowdy time just like the kids in the clan. They are seasoned travelers, but we still leave the house prepared with leashes, water and any other necessities that may find use on long road trips and for pit stops if your travel is extended. The rest of this section is common sense. If you aren’t able or choose not to bring your pet along to holiday gatherings make sure they’re left with plenty of fresh water and maybe a special chewy or treat to keep them occupied for the day. If you’re going away for longer than a day be sure to either make arrangements to have your pet boarded at a kennel or cared for by a trusted friend or service, either from your home or in their space.
Whether you’re hosting the holiday gathering in your home or going elsewhere with your pet, know how they react to crowded places, strange faces, children and other pets, stimuli they may or may not have encountered before. With lots of people in and out through the day, it can be easy for pets to slip out of an open door, either as a habit or as an attempt to escape from the chaotic environment. In the same respect, not everyone at the party may know how to approach your pet or recognize when he wants to be left alone. Keep close tabs on your pet to prevent an accident, escape or disappearance. If they seem stressed or are telling you they’ve had enough, have a quiet space prepared where they can retreat when they want to get away from it all.
Ah, the food…easily one of the best parts of the holidays. And your pets will think so, too! In fact, your pets will probably be begging at your feet from first prep until the last giblet is gone. The holidays just wouldn’t be the same if you didn’t share, but as they say, everything in moderation. If you plan to give your furry friend part of your feast, be sure to know what you can feed safely and don’t overdue quantity. There will be plenty of safe and delicious food to offer with traditional dishes including turkey, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, mashed potatoes, ect, but you have to pay attention to other ingredients and toppings that may pose a hazard. Offer a portion of turkey without skin, bones or gravy. Offer green beans, mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes before you jazz them up with ingredients like refined sugar, cream, bacon, butter, oil and garlic. Avoid letting them sample foods containing potentially toxic ingredients like onions, mushrooms, grapes, raisins and currants and desserts that contain chocolate. It should also go without saying that alcohol is off limits (including holiday fruitcakes and unbaked bread dough). Your pet will be more than appreciative if he’s allowed to taste some of your delicious dinner!
You may have the perfect pet that isn’t interested in and won’t bother your holiday decor, but curious puppies and kittens or even mature pets may be enticed by glittery, fluttery ribbons, bows, trees, plants, garlands, and candles! Be aware of the potential dangers of the decorations you bring out. That doesn’t mean you can’t make your house festive, it just means you may have to make some modifications or be a little more vigilant if you have a playful pet. Most decorations pose more of a choking or swallowing hazard than anything else, but some may also be toxic or harmful if ingested or have sharp edges that may cause injuries whether internal or external. A little caution goes a long way, but if an accident or injury should occur, have your vet’s number handy to either call for advice or get your pet immediate care if necessary.
Our pets tend to be very interested in the mounds of boxes and bows that appear this time of year. We sometimes forget that they feel the absolute need to check out new things, and that they have super sniffers!! No matter how well something may be wrapped, and even if you can’t detect a smell from a package, it may still contain something that will drive your pet crazy. Keep any edible gifts away from the tree if possible, somewhere hidden or out of your pet’s reach until Christmas morning. Especially their presents if you want them to be surprised!
We wish everyone a healthy and happy holiday this year!
Traditional Dinner image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Ms Jones
Christmas dog image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by mdk572
Christmas tree image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by mattbuck