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The Holidays with Pets: Do's and Don'ts

How to keep everyone safe, happy and healthy throughout the season

_HOME / Holiday with pets

The holidays are a busy time of year, spent entertaining loved ones, preparing special feasts, and decorating your home for the season. During the hustle and bustle, it’s important to keep your four-legged friends in mind since there are many unforeseen hazards that come along with the festivities. In addition, even minor changes in your daily routine can become a source of stress for our pets. Here are some pet holiday do’s and don’ts to help keep everyone safe, happy, and healthy throughout the holiday season!

do


MAINTAIN A REGULAR EXERCISE SCHEDULE. Schedules may be slightly different during this time of year but it’s important not to stray too far from your routine for your pet’s sake. Animals thrive on routine and too many changes can cause anxiety which could lead to destructive behavior. Maintaining a regular exercise, outdoors and/or play schedule is crucial. Not only will this much-needed stimulation and attention help them to feel secure; but it will also keep them happy and content during a busy day or holiday party. If you physically can’t find the time to devote to their daily exercise, consider hiring a dog walker or asking a friend for help. It’s true what they say: A tired dog is a good dog!

don't


OVERINDULGE YOUR PET. It’s easy for us to overindulge this time of year, but that does not mean our pets should, too. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 53% of adult dogs and 55% of cats in the US are obese or overweight. This is an epidemic that must be taken seriously! Research shows that pets are more likely to gain unwanted pounds during this holiday period than any other time of year. Although it’s tempting to slip your pet some table scraps from your holiday meal, try your best to resist this urge. Be mindful of the foods that are toxic to pets (grapes, raisins, chocolate, nuts, etc.) and keep these far out of paw’s reach. Stock up on some new healthy and wholesome treat options as an alternative or give your pet a real gift by making a delicious homemade treat instead!

do


MAKE SURE YOUR PET IS WEARING AN ID TAG. Things are more hectic than usual and often with gatherings and company over, pets can easily slip out of the door and get lost. Now is a great time to make sure those ID tags and/or microchips are up-to-date and working properly. This is especially important if you are traveling!

don't


FORGET TO CLEAN UP PROPERLY. Just because the meal is done doesn’t mean your pet is safe. One risk that is often overlooked is the disposal of food and wrappings. Never leave the trash uncovered and remember to take it out frequently during the occasion. Our curious pets are notorious for knocking over the garbage can and gobbling down some scraps! Remember that bones can break easily and sharp pieces can be swallowed, causing a blockage or tearing the intestines. Aluminum foil, wax paper, and turkey strings can also pose a threat so be sure to bag these items up and remove from the home as soon as possible.

do


KEEP CHILDREN SUPERVISED. If a child is visiting your home, or if you are traveling to someone’s home with a child, it is very important to supervise interactions between your animal and the child. Even the sweetest pets can sometimes feel threatened or frightened by a child’s actions, which could cause them to impulsively nip or bite. Incidents are usually triggered by a child’s interaction with the dog during play, eating or when the dog is sleeping. On the flip side, children can be rough and accidentally hurt the animal as well.

don't


LET DECORATIONS POSE A THREAT TO YOUR PET. No one wants to seek emergency care for a pet during the holiday season, so be sure your house is hazard-free! This is especially a must if you have a puppy, kitten or just a curious pet who is prone to exploring and/or chewing. Ornaments, hooks, tinsel and wrapping materials, such as ribbons, string and bows, can become lodged within the body when chewed or swallowed. Traditional holiday plants like mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias are also toxic to pets. Candles and fireplaces are a dangerous combination with wagging tails. Electrical cords and wires must be covered or secured with tape against the wall or behind furniture. As you begin to decorate for the holidays, keep your furry friend in mind and do as much as you can to prevent an injury from occurring!

do


GIVE YOUR PET SOME SPACE. Regardless of how friendly your pet is, all animals need space during a social situation. Create a safe haven from the holiday get-togethers by keeping him or her separated from guests in a quiet room. Be sure to give them comfort items like their cozy bed, toy, or water bowl. Signs of stress include vocalizing, panting, pacing or trembling.

don't


EXPECT MORE FROM YOUR PET THAN HE OR SHE IS CAPABLE OF. No one understands your pet greater than you! You know what level of noise, excitement, and activity they can handle. Don’t forget about them and their needs during this year’s holiday celebrations. You are their biggest advocate!

do


KEEP THE PHONE NUMBER FOR YOUR VETERINARIAN, EMERGENCY CLINIC, AND PET POISON HOTLINE HANDY AND EASY TO LOCATE!

With a little thought and preparation, you can be sure to have a wonderful holiday season with your family and pet!

Please share your adventures with us at share@juniperunltd.com
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