Cat laying on owners lap with Christmas tree in background

KEEP YOUR PET HAPPY & HEALTHY DURING YOUR BIG HOLIDAY GATHERING

12/05/16

Between gift shopping, holiday parties, preparing feasts and hosting gatherings in your home, the holidays can be as stressful as they are exciting! No doubt your pet will begin to notice the change in your home décor, the unexpected arrival of guests, and other holiday hallmarks. Sudden changes to the daily routine can cause some pets to become overexcited, confused, and even anxious. Holidays can be a busy time, but don’t let your pet get lost in the shuffle! There is plenty you can do to make the holiday season a comfortable and enjoyable experience for your pet and your guests.

Avoid a potential break-out

With the holidays in full swing, it can feel like your home is a revolving door of family, friends, delivery drivers, and more. Sometimes your pet’s curiosity can get the best of them, and escapes can happen. Be careful when opening any doors and escape proof your home to prevent any breakouts. One method of escape-proofing is to train your dog to go to another room or a special spot on the floor whenever the doorbell rings. Reward your pet with a high-value treat when they successfully stay on their spot. Once all the guests have settled in, you can bring your pet out to greet them (on a leash if needed).

Give your pet their own space

As your pet’s owner and closest companion, you know your pet’s personality better than anyone and will be able to recognize when they need a break from socializing. Create a quiet “no humans allowed” retreat that your pet can go to when they need some time away from the festivities. In the days leading up to your celebration, introduce the space to your pet and place treats around the room to establish it as a reward room. On the day of the gathering, fill the room with pet essentials like their bed, food, water, long-lasting chew toy, and litter box. For pets with more refined tastes, you can even play music that will soothe and relax them. After some quiet time to recharge their batteries, they will be ready to rejoin the festivities!

Avoid feeding table scraps

When it comes to the holiday food, many of us are guilty of over-indulgence. The comforting and intoxicating aromas that we associate with the holiday feast will have your pet’s stomach rumbling as well. However, don’t fall victim to those sad puppy or kitten eyes (no matter how adorable they may look)! While it may be tempting to treat your pet to some food from your plate, overeating can wreak havoc on your pet’s digestive system and cause serious health problems. Instead, consider feeding your pet ahead of your guests’ arrival to prevent begging and stealing. Keep pet-friendly treats handy to satisfy your furry friend’s cravings while you are cooking and preparing your big holiday meal. You may also want to remind your guests about these house rules to avoid cases of your pet engaging in sneaky snacking!

Overall, devoting some extra time to prepping and pet proofing your home will ensure that the holiday season will be merry and bright for every member of your family!