The holidays are a time of lighthearted cheer and spending quality time with loved ones. Of course, this includes your favorite, four-legged friends! We have tips that will keep your furry friends in check when it comes to preparing them for guests in your home, keeping them calm and quiet, and which festive foods are off-limits for pets.
Preparing your pet for guests
You know your pet best and whether they tend to be well-behaved and courteous with guests or if they transform into a hurricane of yipping, jumping and becoming a little too excited.
- Nervous, easily-upset pets can be kept in another room, separate from the festivities. Make sure that this room is warm, comfortable and feels like home. You can put your pet's bed or open crate in the room, as well as their favorite toys.
- Even pets that are not nervous should have a safe space where they can retreat from the hubbub. This space should be quiet, comfortable, feel familiar and not occupied by guests.
- If your guest has their own pet that they want to bring along, make sure that your pet and theirs have sufficient time to become comfortable. And, if need be, you can politely refuse their request.
Keeping the doors secure
It's vital to know where your pet is especially during the holidays.
- With all the guests streaming in and out, be sure to watch the doors and know where your pet is at all times.
- To take additional precautions, be sure that your pet is wearing a tag with contact information. Microchips are also an excellent way to keep your pet safe.
Distract your pet
If you have a particularly friendly pet who tries to steal the show, you may especially benefit from keeping them distracted.
- If it's Christmas Day or Eve, keep your pet entertained with their new gift!
- Another suggestion would be giving them a kong filled with their favorite treat. Some pet-friendly treats are peanut butter, pumpkin (an especially festive treat in autumn) and cottage cheese.
- There are also a variety of interactive pet toys, such as puzzles designed for pets.
There are certain foods that your pet should not consume. Keep in mind that one rule of thumb is to avoid seasoned foods and to give your pet foods in their purest form.
- Marshmallows: Pets should not consume marshmallows that contain xylitol, which is toxic to them. Marshmallows are found in a variety of holiday treats, such as candied yams and pies. Instead, give your four-legged friend pure, unseasoned pumpkin.
- Chocolate: Chocolate is a definite no for pets and is toxic for them. Try giving them peanut butter, instead, for a satisfying treat.
- Onions and garlic: Many holiday meals are seasoned with onions and garlic, which are a no-no for your pet. Instead, give them raw or cooked carrots sans the seasoning.
- Raisins: You'll find raisins in a variety of holiday desserts, which are off-limits for pets and toxic for them. Consider giving them fresh yogurt, instead.
We want you and your furry friends to have a happy and healthy holiday season. For more information about pets and their wellbeing, you can keep up with us as we provide you with tips, news and our favorite pet products.