As we prepare our homes and hearts for the holiday season for our human guests, we can’t forget about our beloved furry friends. These next few months are a time filled with joy and merriment for families of all shapes and sizes, including our four-legged family members. Their well-being is just as important as ours, and that’s why we’re going to delve into some essential tips on ensuring your pets have a safe, happy and healthy holiday season. From grooming your pet into tip-top shape for their annual holiday photo to managing their (and your!) stress amidst the hustle and bustle, let’s take a look at six tips for preparing your pets for the holidays.
- Embrace Routines — Maintaining your pet’s usual routine, like brushing their teeth or combing their hair with the best pet hair remover, can help ease their stress around the holidays. Festivities will disrupt their usual schedule, so it’s helpful to maintain consistency with play, exercise and feeding times as a surefire way to keep them comfortable and stress-free. Offer them a sense of security with a stable routine they can count on as they adjust to the holiday hustle. That may mean creating a designated quiet space where they can retreat as needed away from the busy holiday gatherings. Introduce visitors to your pets gradually to prevent anxiety. Pets thrive on predictability, so when they enjoy the holiday season, you both will have less stress and more joy in your hearts.
- Pet-Proof Decorations — According to Firehouse Animal Health Center, you can keep your cats and dogs off the naughty list by pet-proofing your holiday decor. Choose pet-safe decorations by avoiding small, ingestible items and toxic plants. Ornaments and tinsel should be secured and out of reach to prevent accidents. Consider shatterproof, non-breakable ornaments that are more durable. Your Christmas tree should be anchored to prevent curious pets from accidentally tipping it over. Opt for pet-friendly candles or safer flameless alternatives to minimize fire hazards. By planning ahead, your home will remain a festive safe haven for any holiday celebrations.
- Create a Safe Space — Help your pets cope with the added excitement of the holidays by giving them a safe space to call their own. A quiet designated area allows them to retreat whenever the festivities become overwhelming. Furnish it with their bed, favorite toys and plenty of water and snacks. Shield them from loud noises and guests who they aren’t familiar with. Communicate with your family and friends that this is a space for your pet that allows them to recharge and relax.
- Introduce Guests Slowly — As guests come in and out of your home with your furry friend, they’re going to get fur all over their clothing. If you have overnight guests, they may want to wash their clothing that’s filled with dog or cat fur. Help remove excess fur from their clothing by drying their clothing with dryer sheets for pet hair. Introducing guests slowly to your pets requires a gentle approach. Don’t force your pet to interact with your guests. Allow them to approach your guests at their own pace. As their pet parent, you should supervise the interactions to ensure safety for both pets and visitors. Even the friendliest and gentlest pets can suddenly bark or bite if a guest gets too handsy or if your pet is anxious around newcomers. Guests should avoid sudden movements and speak gently with your pet.
- Give Them Healthy Treats — It can be easy for us to overindulge during the holidays. The same goes for pets. That being said, you don’t need to totally leave your dog or cat out of the loop of yummy holiday treats. Instead, opt for special pet treats in festive flavors. You can even try your hand at making your own DIY treats with plain cooked meats or vegetables. Keep portion control in mind to maintain their health. Stay away from harmful human food like chocolate or bones. Offering them delicious and healthy pet-friendly treats is an easy way to include them in the holiday celebrations to keep their tails wagging with joy to the world.
- Exercise with Your Pet — When in doubt, sweat it out. You and your pet can benefit by getting in a little exercise around the holiday season. As soon as cold weather comes around, many people and their pets prefer to stay inside. Going for a walk in the park with your pet or letting them run around outside can help them release some pent-up energy and stress. Your pet needs an outlet, and exercising with them is a great way to bond and get in some much-needed one-on-one time with them.
As we get closer to the holiday season, let’s not forget about our furry companions as integral parts of the overall festivities. Ensuring their comfort and well-being during this time is a reflection of our love and commitment to their happiness. Taking the time to maintain their grooming routine with a pet grooming kit or watching out for hazardous festive food will help set the tone for a harmonious holiday season with your pets. We wish you a joyous and pet-friendly holiday season!