How to Keep Your Pet Safe During the Holidays

The holidays can be a very happy time of year. But, they can also be very stressful, as much for our pets as for us. To follow are some tips on how to help your pets enjoy a safe, happy and calm holiday season.

*Adhere to the Regular Routine: Animals are very attuned to even the slightest changes in their environment and most animals are creatures of habit. During the holidays some houses go through what is essentially an overhaul with new decorations, lots of visitors, and the pet’s routine changing due to everyone being extra busy. These changes can be challenging for even the sweetest pet. Help your pet by keeping things as close to their normal routine as possible, including walks, feeding and play times.

*Consider that the sights and sounds we enjoy, such as loud holiday music and lots of decorations might disturb our pets or worse, be dangerous for them. So, separate pets from decorations and other holiday related hazards such as:
-Tinsel
-Dishes of holiday candies
-Poisonous holiday plants
-Garbage bags with leftovers in them should be secured and put out of your pet’s reach
-Your house may be filled with extra electrical cords for holiday lights. Be sure to secure them out of your pet’s reach.

*Avoid glass ornaments which may break and be a hazard to your pet.

*Avoid edible ornaments (such as strings of popcorn) which may be too tempting for your pet and cause them to injure themselves or your home trying to reach them.

*Whether your Christmas tree is live or artificial, be sure to fence it off from your pet’s reach (an exercise pen will do) so they ingest parts of it or try to drink the water in the base.
If you have candles in your home, be sure they are lit only when you are there to supervise and are kept out of your pet’s reach so they don’t get burned.

*Supervise and limit exposure to guests and increased activity by creating a safe haven for your pet. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using a durable crate. When used appropriately, a crate can be calming as it gives your pet a private, quiet space of their own. This is especially important during the hectic holiday season. As guests and activities transform your pet’s domain into unfamiliar ground, her crate remains familiar and comfortable. Plus, crates help keep your pet away from decorations and other hazards.

*While you are out shopping for holiday gifts you might consider also shopping for a few things for your pet which may help them maintain calm during the holidays.
-Enrichment Toys: meant to keep pets busy and burn off mental and physical energy
Enrichment toys such as hollow food stuffable toys which will help keep your pet busy and burn off mental and physical energy
-DAP & Feliway: A synthetic pheremone that mimics the natural pheremones a mother dog or cat releases when lactating to calm their babies and themselves. This comes in a wall plug in and a spray which you can put on your dog or cat’s bed or on a bandana for them to wear.
-Rescue Remedy: A combination of herbs that help calm pets.

*The holidays can be so hectic because we are busy shopping, entertaining and traveling so be sure to take some time each day to relax and enjoy a few quiet moments with your family members…including your pets! This will decrease your pet’s stress…and yours!