As experienced veterinarians, we at My Own Vet understand that the holiday season, while joyful and exciting for us, can sometimes be overwhelming for our pets. Whether you’re considering boarding your pet at a local kennel or keeping them at home, it’s essential to ensure our furry family members enjoy the season safely and comfortably.
Let’s explore how you can ensure a safe and delightful holiday experience for your beloved companion.
The sparkle and shimmer of holiday decorations can be enticing for pets, but they also pose various risks.
Keep Decorations Out of Reach:
Place your holiday decorations, especially fragile ornaments, tinsel, and lights, high enough to be out of your pet’s reach. Ingesting these items can lead to serious health complications.
Secure Your Christmas Tree:
Ensure your tree is anchored securely to avoid tipping over, which can be dangerous for pets.
Watch Out for Electric Cords:
Pets might chew on electric cords, which can lead to electrocution or burns. Conceal or cover cords and use cord protectors where possible.
Beyond decorations, be mindful of holiday foods and plants that can be toxic to pets.
Keep Chocolates and Sweets Out of Reach:
Many holiday treats are toxic to pets.
Beware of Toxic Plants:
Many traditional holiday plants like poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly are toxic to pets. Opt for pet-safe alternatives or place these plants out of your pet’s reach.
Holidays often bring a change in routine and an influx of guests, which can be stressful for pets.
Create a Safe Haven:
Set up a quiet, comfortable space for your pet away from the noise and hustle of holiday activities. This can be a room with a bed, toys, and water.
Try to keep your pet’s feeding, walking, and playtime schedule as consistent as possible.
Consider Calming Techniques:
For pets prone to anxiety, consider calming aids like pheromone diffusers, and calming apparel, or consult your vet for other recommendations.
Gradual Introduction to Guests:
If your pet is shy or anxious around strangers, introduce them to guests slowly and in a controlled environment.
Consider refresher training sessions to reinforce commands like ‘stay’ or ‘come,’ which can help manage your pet during busy times.
The holidays are a time for family, and that includes our pets. Here are ways to safely include them in the festivities:
Make or buy treats that are safe for pets to enjoy during the holiday feasts.
Gifts for Your Pet:
Include your pet in gift-giving traditions. Consider toys, comfy beds, or new interactive toys that can keep them entertained and mentally stimulated.
Include Pets in Holiday Photos:
Capture the holiday spirit with a family photo that includes your pet. Use pet-safe costumes or accessories for a festive touch.
Engage your pet in holiday-themed play. This can be as simple as a new toy or a special game.
Anxiety Management when leaving your pet in kennels
It’s not uncommon for pets to experience anxiety when staying in a new environment. To help your pet adjust:
Familiarity is Key:
Bring along their favorite toy or blanket to the kennel. Familiar scents can provide comfort.
Visit in Advance:
If possible, visit the kennel with your pet beforehand to familiarize them with the new surroundings.
Consult with the kennel staff about their strategies for managing anxious pets. Some may offer calming music or pheromone diffusers.
Vaccination and Health Checks
Before boarding, ensure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations. Kennels often require proof of immunization against common diseases such as kennel cough.
Kennels can be hotspots for parasites. Ensure your pet is dewormed on a regular flea and tick prevention program. Please consult with your vet about the best options or give us a call at 07 32776594.
The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, and with a little preparation, you can ensure it’s a wonderful experience for your pets as well. By taking steps to protect them from potential hazards, managing their anxiety, and including them in the celebrations in a safe and enjoyable way, you’re setting the stage for a pet-friendly holiday season.