Everyone wants to enjoy the Christmas celebrations. However, the inevitable change to your routine, new visitors, and decorations around the home can all cause our pets distress if not handled properly. By planning ahead and taking the time to consider how your pet can safely fit into the festivities, you can make sure they have a happy Christmas with you.
Keep to Their Routine
Whilst it can be difficult with so much going on, you should try to keep to your pet’s usual routine as much as possible. So, try to feed them, exercise them, take them to the toilet, and put them to bed at the normal times. This can help them to feel much more secure, especially if there are other things happening over Christmas that could cause them distress.
Give Them Access to a Quiet Den
You should let your pets meet people at their own pace – don’t force them to interact with new people as this could stress them out. You should make sure your cat or dog has access to a quiet and comfy den elsewhere in the house away from visitors. This way they’ll have somewhere safe to go if they don’t want to be around people.
Put some treats and toys in the den, and maybe even their food and water bowl, so they have everything they need close by. Make sure your guests know not to disturb them if your pet is in their den.
Don’t Leave Them on Their Own
Whilst you want to make sure your cat or dog has access to a quiet den, you shouldn’t shut them in a room whilst you have visitors, as this will likely cause them stress. Make sure they have their usual access around the house, so they can choose where they want to be.
If you’ll be visiting friends or family for the day and leaving your pet at home, make sure that they’re not left on their own for too long. You could ask a neighbour to pop in and spend some time with your pet and give them some exercise if you’ll be away from home for a whole day.
Keep Them from Eating Toxins
It’s easy to get distracted with all the festive celebrations, but you should always keep an eye on your pet to make sure they’re not eating anything they shouldn’t. Tinsel can get stuck in your pet’s stomach – it’s one of the most common foreign bodies ingested by cats at this time of year. You should also make sure that any decorations aren’t too near cages of small animals, where they might be able to nibble on them.
You should take extra care to keep chocolate away from dogs and also make sure they don’t chew anything else that could cause them harm. Give them a dog-safe chew or new toy to keep them busy and away from anything hazardous.
You should make sure you have the contact details for your emergency vet to hand just in case your pet ingests something that could harm them.
Watch Their Behaviour
You know your pet better than anyone else. If you notice a change in their behaviour, like excessive grooming, abnormal toileting, or changes to their appetite, do what you can to return them to their normal routine. If the behaviour continues, you may need to take them to the vet. Cats especially can develop stress-related issues like cystitis which can develop into more serious conditions. If you’re concerned about your pet’s behaviour in any way, always speak to your vet and take your pet for a check-up.
If you’re travelling overseas with your pet this Christmas, you’ll want to make sure the journey is as calm as possible for them. Make sure they have the correct sized airline approved pet carrier and give them plenty of time to get used to the crate before you travel. You should bring something of theirs from home with you for when you arrive, like their bed or favourite toy, so they feel more secure in the new place.
If you’re travelling with your pet this Christmas, PBS Pet Travel is the expert pet travel agency. We have over 20 years’ experience of pet travel so we can make sure your pet travel safely and securely, as well as advising on pet travel paperwork, pet passports, and airline information. Contact us to see how we can help with your pet’s journey today.