Happy Pets for the Holidays
The holidays are busy and often stressful times. It is so easy during the hustle and bustle of the season to forget to give our pets the love and attention that they need to make it through the holidays.
Pets often have a hard time dealing with change. Whether you are traveling with your pet, leaving your pet behind or having company over to your house, your pets will have to deal with and adjust to interruptions of their daily routine. This situation can be especially difficult for our older pets that are dealing with senility and moments of disorientation and need our reassurance that everything will be okay.
Some of the Things that can Adversely Impact your Pet’s Happiness and Well-Being During the Holidays
- Unfamiliar environments and people. It can be scary having to spend time in a new place and sleep in a new place.
- Holiday decorations that may be poisonous or dangerous for your pet. New stuff to mess with means new ways to get in trouble and possibly get hurt.
- Too much people food that is hard to digest and give our pets tummy troubles. Our pets are not meant to eat everything we eat.
- Loud noises such as parties, family arguments or firecrackers can be very disturbing for our furry friends.
- Being let outside in unfamiliar terrain and getting lost. Nothing is worse that your pet getting lost in a new neighborhood with no way to find a way home.
- Separation from owner for long periods of time can make your pet anxious and stressed.
- Having to share space with other pets may make your pet feel threatened, if they are not used to being around other animals.
Tips for Pet Well-Being
- If you are traveling with your pet, make sure to bring along some familiar items to make your pet comfortable in a new place. Bring along food, toys, blankets and anything that you think will make your pet feel more at home.
- Make sure your pet has a collar with identification that includes your cell phone number, a lease, a crate or whatever else to keep your pet close to you. Better to be on the safe side just in case Aunt Sally leaves the door open and lets your dog roam the streets.
- If you are leaving your pet behind, make sure your pet is taken care of by someone you trust who will give your pet love and attention. Your pet’s happiness by being cared for by a trusted person will give you the peace of mind to enjoy your holiday.
The number one thing you can do to make sure your pet has an enjoyable holiday season is to know and listen to the things and situations that your pet likes and dislikes. If you know your pet hates strangers, than you should allow your pet to stay in a separate room while you have your holiday party. For example, I know my cat does not like children. As a result, she stays in her own room when my nieces are around. My cat is much happier and feels safer by being apart, and so I give her what she needs. Respecting your pets means understanding their needs and boundaries and accommodating to make any transitions and change as tolerable as possible.
The second most important thing to do for your pet is to not forget to spend that one on one time with your pet during the holidays. Your furry friend that is accustomed to spending a lot of time with you on a daily basis still wants that attention. Our pets don’t care if it is the holidays and there are a lot of things to do and people to see. They just feel neglected. Take the time to check in with your pets and give them some affection. If you have to leave your pet behind, you can make sure it is with someone who will give your pet the love that you would if you were with them. Most of our pets have relatively short lives compared to us humans and a day without you can seem so long. Make sure your pet is not neglected for the holidays.
Here’s to having happy holidays with happy, healthy pets!