Friday, February 23, 2024
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Caring for your Pet during the Festive Season

The holidays are “the season to be jolly” and celebrate with your loved ones, but it can also be a stressful and potentially dangerous time for your pets. How can we ensure the safety of our animal friends? These simple guidelines will make sure that everyone has a happy and healthy holiday season – including your precious pets.

 1    Create a safe space for your pet

small dog in a Christmas jersey sitting under Christmas tree Christmas time often means plenty of visitors. Your pet might find some of them unusual, and the sheer quantity of people may frighten or worry them. Make sure they have a quiet area separate from the crowd. Ensure the room is filled with their bed, a blanket, toys, food and water – a sanctuary for them to retreat to when feeling a bit overwhelmed.

 2    Ensure Christmas decorations are pet friendly 

two cats surrounded by Christmas decorations To avoid any pet-accidents, ensure that your Christmas tree is secured properly so rowdy pets don’t injure themselves or cause damage should they bump into the tree. Make sure that any ornaments that could be dangerous to your pets, like burning candles, sharp objects or tinsel, are not in reach of your pet. Ensure any wires or power leads are taped to the wall or the ground so that your curious pet can’t chew or trip over them.

 3   Be mindful of what you place under the tree 

dog with ribbon on head in front of christmas tree Cats and dogs both have keen senses of smell so there’s a good possibility they will smell out a wrapped gift of chocolates, fudge, or specialty biscuits that is sitting under the Christmas tree. If your dog or cat does get into the Christmas presents under the tree, they  run the risk of very sick so it is very important to make sure to keep any food items out of your pet’s reach.

 4    Give your pet some much-needed exercise

hamster looking through the christmas glasses Your pet will feel the additional tension that is present during the festive season. They will be more calm and peaceful during the holiday season if you take them for walks, play with them, or just let them run around the house or garden. Ensure to keep your pet’s mental and physical health a priority over the festive season.

 5    Don’t forget about your precious pet

cat sitting in-between Christmas decorations Days leading up to Christmas can be extra busy, so we can be forgiven for forgetting about our pet in all the fuss. Whilst we might not notice that we aren’t spending as much time with our furry family member, your pet will definitely miss your attention! Simply make an additional effort to let them know you’re thinking about them whenever you can. Give your dog, cat or hamster a few extra cuddles or play a game of fetch in between the festivities.

 6    Spoil your pet with a yummy treat

bunny wearing a christmas hat A great way to keep your pet happy and occupied during the festive season, is by giving them a treat! Pets enjoy their favourite treats, especially when it’s entertaining. For instance, chews and bones are great for reducing stress in dogs. Chewing eliminates boredom in dogs, and research shows it offers stress relief. Regardless of your cat’s temperament, catnip has a calming effect and can keep cats occupied for a long time. If you are going to be leaving the house for long periods of time, an interactive toy is a fantastic idea to keep your pet entertained! Above all, make sure your pets are happy and comfortable during the holiday season. If you have any concerns about their health or well-being, contact your veterinarian for advice. By following these tips, you can ensure that your pets have a happy and stress-free holiday season.

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