We love to celebrate and gather for the holidays, but your pets might not be used to having other people around in your home.
Pets react differently to what’s going on around them than you might expect. Most of the time, the animals we keep in our homes love to have a sense of normalcy and routine, which is something you need to be sensitive to during the holiday seasons.
Dogs Tend to Need More Care than Cats
Most of the time, your cat will find a way to stay comfortable and safe during the holidays. As long as they have food and a safe place to go, if they feel nervous or anxious because of extra guests in the house, they can find a place to hide. This makes it easy for your cat to relax and avoid a situation they don’t want to be part of. Dogs are a bit different. As a more social type of animal, most of us are used to our dogs being front and center in our homes. Your dog could show signs of being nervous and won’t know what to do or where to go when more people show up for a holiday visit. Some dogs will run and hide, which is just fine, but you may be in for more challenges.
Help Your Dog Enjoy the Holidays
You need to be mindful of your pets and their needs during the holidays. They rely on you for their comfort, quality of life, feeding schedule, exercise, and care. Help ease the stress on your dog by:
• Staying on Schedule: Your dog may have a regular schedule and you need to stick to it as much as you can
• Offering a Comfort Zone: Make sure your dog has a safe place to escape from small children and guests they aren’t used to. Being alone for a while might be the perfect comfort for your dog.
• Meet and Greet with Caution: Just because your dog is calm and comfortable with you doesn’t mean they will be with everyone else. Don’t force your dog to interact with new people or unfamiliar pets, let them initiate the contact and do things at their own pace.
Keep an Eye on Your Pets and Holiday Decorations
Pets tend to chew on things when they are young and a small ornament shaped like a ball that might be a precious item to you just looks like a toy to your cat or dog. Some pets might chew on power cores, swallow tinsel, or mistake ribbon for toys. Try to keep a close watch on how your pets react to the holiday decorations and keep them from ingesting things they shouldn’t.
Don’t Let Your Guests Treat Your Pets the Wrong Way
Your holiday visitors may love your pets and want to give them table scraps and some of the holiday foods that we enjoy every year. Try to remind your guests that your dog or cat is an animal and some of the foods that we eat during the holidays could be toxic or harmful to your pet. A gentle reminder should be all it takes for a guest who means well.
Fireworks And Your Pets
Some of your neighbors might perform fireworks displays or have loud outdoor celebrations, especially when the calendar flips to the New Year. Keep your pets indoors and try and soothe them during this time. Most dogs don’t like fireworks and might run and hide under a bed or in a safe place. Let them find a cozy place to feel secure.
Make Sure You Have ID Tags on Your Pets
Regardless of whether you have a cat or a dog, you should have an ID tag on the collar of your pet. With visitors coming and going to your home, it’s possible for your pet to get out and be loose in the neighborhood. An ID tag with the pet name and your phone number can help your pet come home when one of your neighbors finds them loose.
Help Your Pets Get the Exercise They Need
Your cat will likely run around and get the exercise they want on their own, but your dog needs to go for walks. If you normally walk your dog every day, they are used to this routine. You need to stick to it and let them have the exercise they are used to. The more energy they use up every day the more relaxed they can be during the holidays.
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