Our pets are an important part of our families. A whopping 68% of American households share our homes with pets. Many of us take our pets on vacation, and more Americans plan to buy gifts for their pets than gifts for their in-laws! Since this is the season of celebrations and gift giving, I thought I would use this blogpost to offer some suggestions on how you can include your pet in your holiday celebrations.
Last Minute Gifts for Pets
As I write this, Hanukkah is in progress and Christmas is just a few days away, and I suspect at least some of you need suggestions on gifts for your pets. Consider reading a prior blogpost, “A Visit from St. Nick to Fluffy and Fido.” It contains several lists of gift suggestions for pets. If you don’t find just the right gift in those lists, the Wirecutter also has great suggestions for pet gear that’s perfect for holiday gift giving.
Giving the Gift of Pet Health
Some want to avoid material things as holiday gifts, and if that resonates with you, consider supporting your pet’s health this holiday season. An insurance policy that supports an annual veterinary examination, recommended vaccines and preventive medications against fleas, ticks and heartworms would be a great gift. Want something more price conscious? How about a microchip, so your pet can be identified if they get lost.
Since the new year is just around the corner, you can also resolve to take your pet for longer walks, more tosses of the ball or more frequent brushing. Not only is exercise great for both of you, but your pet will appreciate more time with their favorite person, YOU!
Pet-Safe Holiday Treats
Chocolates, fatty foods and alcoholic beverages will inevitably land some pets in the hospital this holiday season. So, be sure to have special pet-safe holiday foods to share with your pet. Lean meat without bones or gravy can spice up Christmas dinner for your cat or dog. Dogs and cats also have a bit of a sweet tooth and would likely enjoy a nice baked sweet potato as part of a holiday meal. For suggestions on foods for pets other than dogs and cats, read this prior blogpost.
A Pet for Your Pet
With more people returning to the office after years of working from home, many pet owners are concerned their pet will get lonely. Giving your pet a new best friend sounds like a great idea, but it may not be. The chaotic holiday season is not an optimal time to add to your family. Everyone in the household needs to be on board with the plan to add an additional pet, because a second pet is a big undertaking. Before you add a another pet, have a plan in place for care on the days you go to the office. Also keep in mind that your number one pet may not enthusiastically accept the newcomer on day one. Give the two of them plenty of time and space to work it out under careful supervision.
New Year’s Eve Fireworks and Pets
Many cities, including New York City, welcome the New Year with fireworks. Fireworks are just as scary for pets in January as they are in July. To make sure New Year’s Eve is fun for your pet, use Fourth of July fireworks precautions on New Year’s Eve.
To all you, from all of us at the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center, we wish you a safe and healthy holiday season and the best in 2023.
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