The end of the year is the season for good food, get-togethers, and holiday parties. Since most of us were deprived of celebrating the holidays to the fullest last year thanks to the pandemic, we’re sure you’re doubly excited about this year’s festivities.
As you get your home all decked out for the celebrations, don’t forget to prep your fur babies for the holidays! There’s nothing more that can spoil the holiday fun than cutting a party short for an emergency trip to the vet.
Here are our top tips and tricks to keep your pets happy and safe throughout the holiday party season.
Tire Out Your Pets
For pets that are too excitable or anxious around other people, you could consider giving them a mild sedative (vet prescribed, of course) or tire them out before the party. Catnip overload will make your cats zone out eventually. For dog owners, more and more people are discovering the positive anti-anxiety effects of CBD treats. Not keen on CBD treats? Take your pooch for a nice long walk before your guests arrive. Walking is good for calming humans and canines. Woof!
Give Your Pets Space
If they don’t like strangers, loud noises, and unfamiliar smells, you can board your pet or get a pet sitter. Make sure you book your boarding appointment ahead of time. Most boarding facilities fill up quickly during the holiday season. Alternatively, you can keep them in a room with their favorite toys and some snacks — just make sure it’s off-limits to everyone else and keep your music at a respectable volume.
Holiday decorations go up way before any scheduled get-togethers or parties. When decorating your home, make sure you know which plants and materials might be toxic and harmful for your pets.
Seasonal mainstays such as holly, mistletoe, ivy, juniper, evergreens, and poinsettias can potentially cause severe gastrointestinal pain if your cat or dog ingests them.
Additionally, make sure you keep sharp and breakable ornaments out of reach of your fur babies. This is made easier if you have a good system to keep track of items and keep rooms organized. If you’ve got a cat (or cats) try to keep your tree and other ornaments away from easy-to-climb areas.
Recruit Your Guests
When the food is out and everyone’s having fun, it can be hard to keep an eye on what your pet gets to steal and eat. Most holiday foods are either toxic or not suitable for your pets. This includes chocolate, alcoholic drinks or alcohol-spiked delicacies, grapes, raisins, turkey, ham, and much more.
One way to prevent severe tummy upsets or even potential pet poisoning is to get help from your guests. Ask them to resist your pets’ begging eyes and not to feed your pets with any table scraps or treats.
Consider Boarding Your Pet
If you’ve got the budget for it, consider boarding your pet or asking a reliable pet sitter to keep them for the night. This is also your best option if you’re attending an all-nighter party, rather than hosting one.
You’ll be able to avoid leaving your pet all alone at home. Instead, they’ll be safe, comfortable, and in the company of someone who can give them all the cuddles and scratches they need while you enjoy your holiday parties to the fullest.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
When it comes to being fur parents, you’ve probably long learned that hoping for the best while expecting the worst is a common (and helpful) mindset to have.
All of your meticulous planning for a pet-safe holiday party can still crumble in the face of an extremely friendly, curious, and motivated dog or cat. Accidents can happen.
Be prepared for any emergency. Make sure you’ve got your vet’s phone number saved or on speed dial for the winter. If they aren’t open throughout this holiday season, then make sure you’ve got the number of a 24/7 vet saved, too.
Happiest of holidays to you and yours (4-legged and 2-legged)!