The Holidays and Your Pets | Dr. Michelle’s Corner

The Holidays and Your Pets | The Halfway HomemakerThis guest post was written by Dr. Michelle Rudd, a Associate Veterinarian from Crofton Veterinary Center. The Halfawy Homemaker will be including her animal-friendly posts and tips on a regular basis. I hope you enjoy!

With the upcoming holidays many of us will find ourselves opening our homes to our family and friends or traveling to others houses.  While this is both a fun and stressful time for us it can be even more stressful and scary for our 4 legged companions!  This month I am going to give you a few tips to help make this part of the holidays a little less stressful for your pets.

  • Probably the most important thing to remember when having people stay with you is to let them know you have pets and that they are also an important part of your family! If someone is planning on staying with you check first to make sure they don’t have an animal allergy or are scared or nervous around animals.  They might want to consider other arrangements or consider a boarding kennel for your pet if necessary.   This also goes when traveling to other people’s houses with your pets.  Let them know ahead of time you are planning to bring your four legged friend and make sure they don’t mind opening their home to EVERYONE!
  • Provide a place for your guests that can be closed off to keep your pet away from their stuff and give them a chance to get some privacy from your pets if needed. Also make sure your guests put any medications they might bring with them high up where curious animals can’t get to them.  Unfortunately many animals especially dogs will eat medications and sometimes even clothes!
  • When traveling with your animals remember to bring along their familiar things from home to help ease the stress of traveling for them. Crates, beds, toys and bowls should be packed and always bring along your pet’s food to avoid any upset stomachs from sudden diet changes.  Always keep your pet leashed when walking outside in new places and have a collar with updated identification on your pets at all times.  Microchips are also a good idea to have placed into your pets.
  • With the holidays and family gatherings of course come children! Sometimes animals find children scary or are nervous around them.  In addition children often don’t realize when animals are scared and miss important signals to stay away which can result in accidental scratches or biting.  Always supervise your pets with children and if necessary confine your pets to a safe and comfortable part of your house.

Hopefully these tips will help make entertaining and travelling with your canine and feline companions easier this holiday season.  If you do have to put your pet into a boarding facility book your reservation early as they often fill up quickly for the holidays and remember to make sure your animals are up to date on all necessary vaccinations. Remember to always talk with your veterinarian if you have questions or concerns.  Happy holidays!



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