You should have the holiday celebration with your pets, but you should also keep them safe.
You are not the only person who, around this time of year, might find themselves wandering the aisles of their neighborhood pet store in search of treats to stuff into the stocking of their favorite furry friend. The American Animal Hospital Association carried out a survey and found that 86 percent of respondents include their pets in holiday celebrations and that an astounding 97 percent of them celebrate Christmas. Eighty percent of pet owners give their companions special treats, seventy-five percent hang a Christmas stocking, seventy-two percent give wrapped gifts to and from their pets, fifty-eight percent take photos of or with their pets, and thirty-seven percent send a greeting card to or from their pets. In general, seventy percent of pet owners have signed their pets’ names on greeting cards.
Even though we want to include our pets in the holiday fun as much as they want to join in, the additional noise and chaos can be overwhelming for them. If you are going to have a lot of people over to your house, you should put your pets in a separate room so that they don’t run around and cause any mishaps. A scared cat running across the buffet table is not a pretty sight, and neither is a dog that is begging for food from people’s plates.
Keep curling ribbon, string, and other wrapping materials in a secure location. I know from experience that my cats are particularly drawn to the curling ribbon. A last-minute visit to the animal hospital is not something that should be covered by the vacation fund. When shopping for decorations for the holidays, make sure to keep safety in mind. If you have a pet that likes to chew things, you should be aware that electrical cords, tinsel, and pine needles can be fatal if they are consumed. To stop the tree from falling over, install an eyehook in the ceiling and secure it with some rope. My husband likes to tell the story of walking out into the living room one morning to find his kitten staring at him directly from the top of the Christmas tree. My husband says that it was a very surreal experience.
It is also a good idea to use only unbreakable ornaments on the lower branches of your tree and depending on the age and activity level of your pets, you might want to avoid displaying your grandmother’s antique Santa collection. Both of these tips are good to keep in mind when decorating your Christmas tree.
Poinsettia, holly, and mistletoe are all holiday plants that have the potential to be dangerous. Chocolate, which is one of our favorite food groups, also falls into this category.
Candlelight is enchanting, but it should be used with caution around wagging tails and paws that are still quite small. If you have a pet that is particularly active or inquisitive, you should never leave a burning candle unattended and should seriously consider not using candles at all.
It’s a wonderful gesture to offer a homeless animal a place to stay for the holidays, but it’s probably best to hold off on doing so until after the chaos has subsided. However, as a sign of your excitement and anticipation, you should give presents associated with pets, such as a bed, bowl, toys, scratcher, litter box, collar, and leash. It’s possible that you can choose a canine or feline companion in advance and then take possession of it after the holiday is over.
As someone who is obsessed with cats, I am frequently asked what gifts I will be giving them for the holidays. My answer? They celebrate Christmas every day of the year.