The holidays are a wondrous time of togetherness, food, festivities, and so much love. Good memories are made when we gather together and share the bounties of the year. Then we get to look ahead to a wonderful New Year. 

At Shiloh Veterinary Hospital we are all about making this time of year one of wonder and safety for our pet companions. That’s why we put together this list of helpful tips you can use this season, and throughout the year.

Don’t Be a Grinch: Keep Your Pet Entertained

We know the next few weeks can be so busy that it can have your head spinning, so it’s easy to forget the exercise and enrichment needs of our little ones. To keep a focus on your pets, here are some things to consider:

  • Try a festive stroll through a new neighborhood to look at lights
  • Purchase holiday themed toys and plush animals for your buddies
  • Make some DIY dog and cat treats (and they can be wholesome, too)
  • Put on your favorite holiday tunes and shake your booty – get your pet involved by hopping around and making a game of it
  • Take some time to teach your cat or dog tricks you can impress your in-laws with
  • Snuggle together on the couch while watching holiday movies and classics

Decor Disasters: Remember to Keep Them Safe

There are a few things to be aware of that can pose risks to pets. We know the dangers are not as fun as the dancing, but bear with us. This is a quick list of all things to remove or put in a place your pet can’t reach.

  • Toxic plants (check out the full list via ASPCA)
  • Toxic food: chocolate, Xylitol, macadamia nuts, alcohol, grapes, raisins, etc.
  • Tinsel and curling string (big danger, if ingested)
  • Glass ornaments
  • Edible ornaments, gift baskets containing food
  • Small toys and decorations (that can be ingested)

Remember that your pet will be fascinated with small things they can put in their mouths but shouldn’t. It can be a drag to put these things out of reach, but better safe than the drag it will be having to go to the animal emergency hospital.

Don’t forget about the little critters, like rabbits, reptiles, and small mammals that can chew on light strings and get electricuted.

Over the Hill and Through the Woods…

It’s fun to bring pets along to visit relatives over the holiday season, but there are ways to make the merriment safer and more comfortable for them. To make the pet travel a friendly one:

  • Make sure they are fully vaccinated and on parasite prevention.
  • Are they travel ready (healthy and able to make the trek)?
  • Use a crate, carrier, or other secure option for the car.
  • If you are traveling by air, contact the airline for specific pet requirements.
  • Always bring water in the car and a collapsible bowl for your pet.
  • Pack all the essentials (food, litter box, waste bags, collar, leash, ID tags, toys, etc.).
  • Make plans that include your pet, like pet friendly cafes and patios, parks, and malls.

We hope these ideas help get you inspired to make the best of the holidays with your furry one. If we can offer any more suggestions, or if you would like to make an appointment, please call us!

Happy holidays and a wonderful New Year!