When 750 pet owners were asked what they’d rather do during the holidays, a whopping 96% said they would prefer to stay home with their pet than visit family members. This statistic probably isn’t surprising, but it does beg the question: if you’re not doing “the family thing,” how are you sharing the holidays with your pet? AIMSS is always in favor of a safe holiday season, and we certainly don’t want anyone to feel left out. Let’s get those ideas cooking!
Special Holidays With Your Pet
Each day we have with our pets is special, but the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s give us a lot to do – and contemplate. Instead, take a break from all the craziness and spend some quality time together. May we suggest the following ideas of ways to share the holidays with your pet:
- Take in all the lights. Whether it’s strolling through your neighborhood, hitching a ride on a cable car, or meandering in your own vehicle, your pet will adore all that twinkles and glitters.
- Have a DIY pet treat bake-off (let your pal be the taste tester!). Then do your own pet-friendly version of caroling by delivering the goodies to all your friends and neighbors.
- Instead of isolating your pet while you wrap gifts, buy decorations that won’t endanger him or her (think GI obstructions). Then let your pet partake in all the splendor that is wrapping piles of presents. We promise you’ll not only be amused, but less lonely or worried as you prepare gifts as well.
Don’t Forget to Chill
While the holiday champagne is on ice, don’t forget to chill yourself. Make time for a relaxing grooming session with your pet, snuggle together, and settle in for a long winter’s night. Reading or catching up on your favorite shows are likely to be some of the most cherished moments with your pet.
Wait, There’s More!
People love getting dressed up during the holidays, so why shouldn’t your pet get the same treatment? If you’re confident your pal is comfortable, relaxed, and safe, have him or her pose for some memorable holiday photos. Feel free to keep your pet dressed, but if you notice any signs of stress or discomfort, remove the holiday duds immediately.
The majority of owners plan on giving gifts to their pets. This is good news for Fluffy or Fido, especially if your present is edible (and homemade to boot!).
If your pet is interested and well-behaved, consider participating in a small gift exchange, allowing him or her to be your “little helper.” This may take equal measures of training and preparation, but their delightful antics will surely take the cake.
Home or Go?
If you’re planning on traveling during the holidays with your pet, be sure to monitor him or her closely. Your pet might not act like themselves in an unfamiliar house with strangers. Stick to their routine as much as possible, provide exercise, prohibit human foods, watch water intake, and know when to call it a day.
Regardless of how you decide to share the holidays with your pet, make sure their health and safety are top priorities. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.
Happy holidays from all your friends at Animal Internal Medicine and Specialty Services!