How to keep your pet safe this holiday season
It’s the holidays and all the guests are arriving, the UPS man is at the door, and there are presents under a giant tree in the living room. What is a poor curious pet to do? Get into trouble, that’s what. There are ways, though, that you can keep your pet safe this holiday season and prevent Fido and Fluffy from getting lost, sick or hurt.
Easy ways to protect your pet during the holidays:
First, think of very easy things to do:
We put a sign on our door that says, “Indoor cats live here. Please keep the door closed.” This is a good reminder for all guests coming over to keep. the. door. closed. It may not be foolproof, but it’s a good and easy start on keeping fluffy inside. You could make a more generic, “Pets live here; please keep the door closed” sign as well.
Put harmful things out of reach. I realize you can’t do this with the tree, but you can keep presents out of the dog’s reach and food up high or out of sight until it’s supervised. M
Make sure guests are aware of your pets’ quirks as they arrive: “Fido will beg for a treat, but please don’t feed him scraps from the table” or “Fluffy likes to give love bites. If you don’t want those then don’t pet her.”
More ways to protect your pet:
Take Fido out for a walk while it’s still quiet at home. A LONG walk, some play time at the park, doggy daycare, whatever will tire him out. Make sure Fido has had his fun, attention, and dinner if possible, before guests arrive. This way he’ll be calmer and less likely to run out the door or jump on Aunt Marge.
If your cats don’t like guests they’ll find their own hiding spots while company is around. Make sure they have a small bowl of kibble and water some place away from the noise.
Use a “boundary” spray to keep the cats out of the tree, or a squirt bottle with water. You can spray them (not their face) as they get too interested in jumping into the tree or attacking the presents under it. Ours usually like to bat things towards the bottom but then leave it alone. For Fido, use the same tactic, or a dog whistle, or even a collar with a “beep” or “vibrate” (not shock) on it. You can train him to stay away from the tree.
Finally, sometimes it’s best to let Fido and Fluffy have a break from the party. If you can provide them with a safe space away from the crowds, consider doing so. Knowing that crowds stress out your pet can help you figure out a way to avoid that and protect your pet during the holidays.