Pets are more than just companions; they’re cherished members of our families. A recent Pew Research Center survey found that 97% of U.S. pet owners consider their furry friends as part of the family.
However, as the holiday season approaches, the question on many pet parents’ minds is, “How can we make sure our pets feel included in the festive fun?” Fear not! We’ve got some delightful and easy ways to ensure your beloved pets are right in the heart of your holiday celebrations.
5 Ways to Include Your Pet in the Holiday Fun
The presence of pets in our daily lives has transformed the way we see our relationship with these furry companions. Researchers are now exploring the physical, emotional, and psychological benefits of the human-animal bond.
With the holiday season upon us, it’s only natural that we want our pets to be part of the festivities. Yet, we must be mindful of the added stress the holidays can bring to our four-legged friends—extra people, more noise, a towering Christmas tree, and new, tempting smells from holiday baking.
1. Pamper Your Pet at the Local Groomer
Just as pet parents treat themselves to a day at the salon, why not extend the pampering to your furry friends? Take them to the local groomer for a special spa day. A fluffy coat, trimmed nails, and maybe even a cute holiday accessory will have your pet looking and feeling their best for the festivities.
2. Special Treats, No Begging Allowed!
While sharing table scraps with your pet might be tempting, it’s not always the best idea. Instead, whip up a special holiday treat just for them. Consult your vet, and if all’s good, create a small plate with a festive mix of green beans, turkey, ham, carrots, or pumpkin. Prepare their special meal away from the dinner table to discourage any hopeful begging.
3. Deck the Halls with Pet-Friendly Decorations
Involve your pet in the holiday decorating process by opting for pet-friendly ornaments and decorations. Skip the tinsel and fragile baubles, and choose sturdy, non-toxic alternatives. Consider placing decorations at your pet’s eye level, creating a visually pleasing and safe environment for them to explore.
4. Create a Cozy Pet Retreat
With all the hustle and bustle, it’s crucial to provide your pet with a quiet, cozy retreat. Set up a comfortable space away from the holiday chaos where they can retreat when things get a bit overwhelming. Add their favorite blanket, toys, and maybe even a soothing background noise to create a calming atmosphere.
5. Pet-Inclusive Family Photos
Capture the holiday magic by including your pet in the family photos. Dress them up in a festive outfit or collar, and make them a part of the cherished memories. Whether it’s a cozy snapshot by the fireplace or a playful outdoor scene, having your pet in the frame adds an extra touch of warmth to your holiday pictures. And if your local pet store offers it, consider a pet photo with Santa! These are always fun to put on the mantle or displayed by the Christmas tree.
Don’t Forget to Get Your Pet Their Daily Dose of Exercise During the Holidays
As the holiday season kicks into high gear, it’s easy for us humans to let our own exercise routines slip. Between gift shopping, last-minute grocery runs, and the marathon of decorating and cooking, hitting the gym often takes a back seat. However, just like our bodies, our pets need their daily dose of activity, even amid the holiday hustle.
A general rule of thumb for our furry friends is that dogs should ideally get between 30 minutes and 2 hours of exercise each day. Larger breeds, such as retrievers and collies, tend to require more activity, while smaller breeds like terriers and Maltese can manage with a bit less.
Here are some tips to ensure your pet stays active, even when it’s cold outside:
- Festive Walks: Take your pet on a holiday-themed walk around the neighborhood to enjoy the twinkling lights and decorations. Dress them up in a holiday pet sweater to make it more seasonally-inspired.
- Indoor Playtime: Create a cozy play area indoors with their favorite toys to keep them moving, especially if the weather is less than inviting. Want to delight your pet with a new toy? Head over to your local Pet Evolution to pick up something delightful.
- Interactive Toys: Invest in toys that stimulate both their mind and body, such as puzzle feeders or treat-dispensing toys.
- Pet Playdates: Arrange playdates with other pets to keep your furry friend socially engaged and active.
- Indoor Agility: Set up a mini agility course indoors using household items for a fun and physically engaging activity.
By incorporating these activities into your holiday routine, you can ensure that your pet stays healthy, happy, and active, even when the weather outside is frightful.
What Do I Do If My Pet is Afraid of the Christmas Tree?
If your pet is afraid of the Christmas tree, particularly dogs – you’re not alone! Dogs, unlike their feline counterparts, can sometimes get spooked by the towering tree. Dogs may develop fear due to the unfamiliarity of holiday decorations. Your pup doesn’t grasp the concept of festive embellishments.
If your dog barks, growls, or hides from the Christmas tree, they might be genuinely frightened. To help them acclimate, place treats near the decorations, fostering a positive association. With time, their anxiety will diminish, and the Christmas tree will become just another cozy fixture in your home. While cats might add some crazy antics, dogs can learn to embrace the holiday magic with a little patience and positive reinforcement.
Pet Holiday Delight: Wrapping Up the Festivities with Pet Evolution
As we revel in the joy of the season, remember that including your pets in the holiday festivities adds an extra layer of warmth and cheer to your celebrations. From pampering sessions at the local groomer or dog wash to festive treats and mindful exercises, Pet Evolution has your furry friend covered.
Embrace the magic of the holidays with your beloved pets, ensuring a season filled with shared moments and wagging tails. Happy pet holidays from Pet Evolution!