Halloween has passed and the holidays will be upon us before we know it. Here are a few tips to help keep your pets healthy and happy this season.
Stick with a routine. Much like people, pets are creatures of habit. Even though your schedule may change with special events, kids on break from school, and holiday travel, your pets will do best if you stick to their regular routine of feeding, walking, and exercise. Some people find it helpful to set reminders in their smart phones to keep their pet’s daily needs on track.
Make a safe space for your pet. Some pets love the excitement and festivities associated with the holidays. Others find the loud noises and commotion to be stressful. It is always a good idea to have a safe place where pets can go to get away from the party. The space can also serve to keep pets away from guests who may not be comfortable around them. Crates and small, quiet rooms away from the center of the action can all be great places for your pet to relax during the holidays. Dimming the lights and playing soothing music can help calm pets. A food puzzle or other interactive toy can distract your pet from the surroundings. Adding a supplement containing L-tryptophan, chamomile and ginger, such as Tomlyn’s Relax & Calm can also help animals cope with the stresses of the season.
Watch what they eat. Dietary indiscretion can be a major cause for emergency room visits for pets during the holiday season. Stress, rapid changes in diet, as well as high fat foods can cause gastrointestinal upset. Tomlyn’s Pre & Probiotics can help balance the intestinal flora and maintain gut health. Table scraps and bones can easily obstruct or damage the gastrointestinal tract, in some cases causing life-threatening emergencies. Some common human foods such as chocolate, macadamia nuts, onions, raisins, and xylitol (an artificial sweetener) can be highly toxic for pets. If you want to give your pets treats during the holidays, stick with their regular dog food which can be moistened with water and baked into festive shapes. If you can’t resist giving your pet a taste of the season, stick with plain pumpkin, carrots, and green beans, which are all safe for pets. However, like people, pets can be susceptible to gaining extra weight during the holidays, so be mindful of the total calories your pet consumes.
Make time for exercise. Pets that don’t get enough exercise can easily become bored, anxious, hyperactive, or even destructive. These behaviors can be exacerbated with the stresses of the holiday season and when owners are preoccupied with other priorities. Exercise can help combat these challenges and the effects of any extra weight your pet has gained during the holidays. Incorporating a few extra walks or some extra active play time can go a long way to improve your pet’s wellness and your bond with him.
Hopefully these tips will help make the holidays a bit brighter for your whole family, both 2- and 4-legged!