Now that we are a couple of years out of the pandemic, the pandemic pets that many of us got over that time are getting older and having to get used to more people being in the house, especially around the holidays. These pets are as excited as everyone else about celebrating the holiday season. Before the festivities begin, however, it’s important for pet parents to ensure their homes are as pet friendly as possible. Make sure your house is comfortable for both your guests and your pets. Consider these tips to keep pets happy and healthy this holiday season.
Teach Good Table Manners
Table manners aren’t just reserved for people.
Help prevent your pet from begging at the table by refraining from giving your pup food or attention. The best way to prevent pets from begging at the table is by training them when they are young to not beg for food. Whether that be at the table or while snacking on appetizers by the couch, pets can learn to be respectful of food. We all love our pets, but sometimes it’s hard to enjoy your snacks or food when you have a pair of big eyes fixated on you. But if your pet is particularly food oriented or can’t seem to keep its paws off the table temporarily, taking the temptation away from the pet can be the best solution. When you sit down for your holiday meals, place your pet in a crate or pen, or encourage him or her to go to their special place like his or her bed or a comfortable chair. Other solutions for averting your pet’s attention from the holiday table is by providing your pet with an activity. This can look like a long-lasting treat or a puzzle toy that looks and tastes like the holidays.
But, if you don’t want to crate your pet during your holiday meal, try to avoid sharing human food under the table to prevent pet temptation. Even though our holiday meals look and smell delicious to our four-legged companions, even tiny amounts of certain people food can lead to serious pet health issues. And the last thing anyone wants is for your pet to get sick in the middle of the holiday festivities.
Create a Zen Space
Some of us have generally anxious animals or pets that were products of the Covid-19 pandemic and haven’t had much experience with other people who don’t live in the house. The holidays can be hectic, and pets are prone to picking up on stress in the household. Even just one or two extra guests or some stressed-out pet parents can give a pet anxiety. Be sure to acclimatize your pets to having extra people in the house.
That said, also make sure that pets have a place to escape to if they get overwhelmed by the extra people or stress in the house for the holidays. To set up this special place for your pet, tailor it to their preferences. This place can be a crate, a table, or a cardboard box to create a den of sorts. Pack it with some blankets or a few of their favorite toys and put a few treats to reward them for going inside to explore.
Exercise Caution When Decorating
Lots of families will be brightening up their homes this holiday season, but it’s important to ensure that the decorations are pet safe. Keeping decor such as lights and candles away from pets is very important because flickering flames can cause curious pets to investigate and can be easily knocked over by overexuberant tails. Seasonal plants are also things to keep out of your pet’s reach, as seasonal plants like holly and poinsettia are poisonous to dogs and cats.
Extra decor sometimes means more electrical cords, which can be tempting chew toys for your pet. Make sure cords are not accessible, by taping them down or covering them with furniture or rugs to avoid unnecessary pet injuries. Remember to keep glass ornaments, tinsel, pinecones, and light stands out of reach of your furry friends. Keep an eye on the front door as we don’t want any pets to escape. Also, be sure to secure your holiday decorations and make sure that your pets aren’t drinking any Christmas tree water as it could have harmful bacteria or fertilizers.
These are all things to keep in mind when planning and decorating for this coming holiday season. We want to make sure that everyone is happy and healthy this holiday season, including your furry friends.