Your Pets and the Holidays
The Holiday can be stressful! This stress can transfer to your pet whether it’s from travel, company or just picking up on your stress. Stressed can cause them to be poorly behaved, sick or even end up lost if they escape your house or car. In this blog post, I will share some tips to keep your pets safe and healthy for the Holiday Season.
In your Home:
If you celebrate the Holidays in your home, your pet may be less stressed than traveling. There are still dangers to keep in mind though. Decorations, certain plants (Holly, Mistletoe, Poinsettia), extension cords and rich foods can all cause problems for your four-legged family members. Make sure plants are out of reach of both kids and animals and electric cords are tucked away out of reach. Rich Holiday foods are very tempting to your dog. Small amounts are okay to share, but in large amounts they can cause stomach upset and even a trip to the vet. Make sure you also protect your trash and take it our right away to prevent your pet from getting into it. Remember that cooked bones can splinter and damage intestines.
Visiting someone else’s home:
If possible, leave your pet at home for Holiday meals or with a pet sitter. If you have permission to bring them along, keep in mind that someone’s house may not be set up to have animals inside. Dogs are stressed by entering a new home, especially one they are not familiar with. Consider bringing a soft sided crate or blanket from home for them to use. This will keep them quiet, out of the way and prevent unwanted behavior. While some people do not mind pets, others will be offended if your dog is drooling on their knee begging for food.
Traveling with pets can bring its own set of challenges. Again, consider leaving your pet at home with a sitter where they will be in a comfortable and familiar place. If you do not have access to a sitter, make sure you take some extra steps to keep your them safe.
Flying with your pet comes with a full set of rules and regulations. Depending on the size, they may have to be checked and travel in their crate in cargo. Make sure you feed them lightly (or not at all) at least several hours before the flight. Limit their water intake at least two hours before the flight to help prevent accidents. Make sure before you get to the airport your pet’s travel crate is airline approved. You will also want to have all your paperwork (and a copy of it) available. Attach the second copy of your paperwork to their crate. I tape a page protector with the information inside to the top of the kennel. You can also add travel tags to your pet’s collar with your cell phone, starting point and destination.
Driving with your pet can be extra stressful. Hopefully they are seasoned car travelers, but if not make sure you do a few short trial rides before a long trip. If you are driving out of state you may need a health certificate to travel across state lines. A veterinarian will give your pet an exam and provide the certificate for you (Usually for around $35). Also make sure your animal is microchipped and wears a collar with tags, rabies included, and a travel tag with. You should also keep a pet and human first aid kit in the car. One item you may consider bringing is water from your home. Often animals will refuse to drink strange water. Make sure they are always on a leash for potty breaks and secured in the vehicle so they cannot bounce around while you are driving.
Visitors to your home:
Even the best behaved pups can become anxious having extra changes in their home, especially when you add company (known or unknown) to the mix. If your dog is not comfortable with the extra activity, make sure they have a room to themselves where they can quietly lay down and chew on a treat. They will thank you for it!
Overall, simply take some extra steps to prevent your best friend from getting in trouble this Holiday Season. You might find your own stress levels drop!
And more than anything have a safe and wonderful Holiday Season from your E3Live Family!
Try E3Canine – superior nutrition for your canine friends: http://www.e3live.com/p-35-e3-canine-fresh-frozen.aspx