In many homes around the holidays, the stockings hung by the chimney aren’t just for those of us with two legs. When we enjoy our favourite traditions with the ones we love, it only makes sense to include our furry family members in our celebrations too. Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare festivities for the whole family this year.
When searching for stocking stuffers, remember that not all toys and treats are created equal. Some, such as brittle rawhides and low-quality toys, are at risk of breaking into small pieces that can do serious harm if ingested. Conversely, many gifts are just too hard for pets’ teeth, such as nylon chew toys, which can cause dental damage. As a general rule, if it hurts to hit your knee with the toy or treat, it is too rigid for a pet’s mouth.
Food is the language of love, but the extra calories add up quickly and can put your pet at risk of pancreatitis. Instead of being generous with table scraps and treats this year, ask your veterinarian what delicious – but calorie conscious – treat they recommend to pair with a food puzzle or toy. Enrichment games are fun, can make tasty treats last longer, plus they provide your pet with mental and physical stimulation.
The greatest gift that any pet can receive is the gift of time with the people they love. Try taking the whole family on their walk (maybe a new place with different sights and smells), squeezing in some extra snuggles, learning a new trick, and giving your pet some distraction-free appreciation.
Around the holidays, routine tends to be disrupted, causing stress for pets who do not understand the change. Make your furry family member feel at ease by giving them a safe space to which they can retreat during family gatherings, keeping meals and walks at consistent times, and encouraging lots of exercise to burn pent up energy.
As members of the family, our pets will be present for every favourite tradition. With a little consideration this year, we can show our thanks to our beloved companions by making sure that every member of the family has a safe and happy holiday season.
Dr. I. Wonder is here to answer your questions regarding your furry family members. If you have a question, email it to us at danielle@NeighbourhoodPetClinic.com. Our team at Neighbourhood Pet Clinic will tap into their collective experience to answer your various questions.