‘Tis the season for celebration and joy. Christmas means celebrations with the family, a celebration of the birth of Christ, delicious food, and excellent company. Our pets are very much a part of the family, and it makes sense that they should be included in the jubilant celebrations as well.
This time can also be a stressful one for our pets; with food in abundance, visitors aplenty, and numerous hazardous objects decorating the house, it is important to pay a little extra attention to your pet. With just a few precautions and preparations, Christmas will be as jubilant for your pet as it is for you.
As Christmas is a time for family, it also means a swarm of relatives coming and going with their greetings and well wishes. While it is lovely to see family members after a long time, your pet might not have such a grand time with strangers they have never met before. This is especially true if your pet is nervous, anxious, or fidgety around strangers.
When overwhelmed, pets exhibit uncharacteristic behaviours; dogs seek a corner to hide in or show aggression, and cats are unlikely to be seen for a while if there are commotions in the house, typically withdrawing to a quieter spot at home.
The solution is to simply not let the two interact. Give your pets the peace and quiet they desire while you have company in a secluded and silent part of your house. Limit their interaction with people who will induce anxiety in them. Worst comes to worst, you can always embark on pet travel, as domestic pet transportation is a popular way of helping pets cope with the stressors inside a household.
Of course, this being Christmas, you can’t circumvent the inevitability of family and company at home. If your pet is extremely anxious to the point of suffering, you can contact your vet to schedule an appointment and come to a solution which suits you.
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a Christmas tree, shimmering with decorations and a lovely star on top. However, with pets around, there are some precautions necessary before you can decorate your lovely tree.
Take for instance the decorations on your shiny new tree. Cats are drawn to such shiny objects and can easily hurt themselves by cutting themselves on a bauble they’ve broken, or swallowing a choking hazard. Then there is the matter of cats loving to climb, and a new tree can look like a brand new cat tree to them. This never ends well, usually with a grumpy feline stuck or a tree felled. Dogs like to sink their teeth into things to investigate, and this curiosity can be painful with ornaments, lights, or mistletoe. They are also prone to seeing a tree indoors and assuming it is a brand-new urinal for them, which can put a damper on the festivities rather quickly.
The best way to solve this issue is to, once again, prevent any contact between your pet and hazardous decorations, as well as keeping an eye on them for any mischief.
Pets have different diets to humans for a reason. Not everything which is beneficial to human beings is good for pets, and unfortunately, Christmas is a holiday where lots of scrap-feeding is done. A few bites of a dish from your plate may look innocuous, but a lot of our favourite delicacies served during the holiday season can be detrimental to our pets.
Chocolate is dangerous for your dog and is found in abundance during festivities. Onions, raisins, dried fruits, coffee, peanuts, and many more ingredients found in, and around traditional preparations are akin to poison for dogs and cats. Cooked bones are also at risk of splintering when ingested, so it is best to avoid them as well.
Do not change your pet’s diet too much during the holiday season. A sudden change can upset their system and lead to diarrhea or vomiting. Celebrate with your pet, but ensure that you only feed them foods which will make their holiday better, not worse.
It can be challenging, both for you and your pet, when the festive season arrives in full swing. It can be overwhelming at times; but, By following these tips, you can help ensure that your pet has a happy and safe holiday season. Merry Christmas to all pets and pet parents and have a happy New Year.