The holidays can be a confusing time for companion animals. The house is filled with smells of food they are not allowed to taste, a tree they are not allowed to climb and a collection of brightly wrapped boxes they are not allowed to chew. It’s enough to put even the best-behaved pet onto the naughty list!
While there are things you should watch out for to keep your pets safe during the holidays—such as tinsel and sweets—you can also include your feline and canine loved ones in pet-friendly variations of the season’s most time-honored traditions.
Here are 3 tips from our friends at the ASPCA® about how to include your pets in the holiday fun.
Tip #1: Deck the halls with chew toys and catnip.
With all the presents being exchanged, it only makes sense that your dog or cat receives a gift of their own. Get creative this year and make a homemade present to keep them busy! Follow these DIY instructions from the ASPCA to make a catnip toy for your cat. For dogs, you can make biscuits they’re sure to love. If you’re not the DIY type, some safe holiday options include puzzle toys stuffed with healthy foods for pooches and interactive cat dancers and stuffed catnip toys for kitties. Read more holiday safety tips from the ASPCA.
Tip #2: Include the party animals!
If you’re having a seasonal soirée, let your pets mix and mingle with your guests. While you’re busy with hosting duties, designate a close family member or friend to keep track of your pets to ensure they are getting the attention they need and avoiding any trouble spots like the tree. If your pets are not social butterflies, give them a spot of their own to relax in that is away from all the commotion. Stock the area with food, water, familiar toys, a litter box for cats and a comfortable place to sleep.
Tip #3: Bring your pets along for the ride.
They say home is where the heart is, but in the case of your loyal feline or canine companions, home is where you are! Consider bringing your pets along with you on your holiday visits, rather than boarding them. Follow these car travel trips from the ASPCA® experts:
• Bring along a piece of home, like your pet’s favorite floor cushion or toy, to make the trip more comfortable.
• Three to four hours before hitting the road, serve your pet a light meal to hold them over until you arrive at your final destination.
• Make sure your pet is wearing a collar and an ID tag with your usual contact information. Also, consider adding a temporary travel tag to their collar that includes your cell phone, destination phone number or any other relevant details.
• Take plenty of bottled or tap water from home for your pet as drinking water they are not used to could result in an upset stomach.
• Make sure your cat is in a safely secured carrier. Dogs will need to be in a crate or secured with a safety harness if they’re riding in a seat.
Traveling by air? Check out these tips for safe air travel with your pet.