Your Pets' Holiday Survival Guide
Call me Scrooge, but I haven't had a Christmas tree in years, thanks to my fur kids. From the broken ornaments to swallowed pine needles, pets made having a tree less than jolly. But holidays with your furry friend don't have to be a headache. Here's how to save your sanity—and a trip to the ER.
1. Skip the blazing yule.Decorations are enticing. Prevent catastrophes by nixing glass ornaments and tinsel and by spritzing the tree with a pet-safe repellent likeGrannick's Bitter Apple Spray(-). Keep lighted candles out of paws' reach, too.
2. Prepare them a room.Pets crave breaks from holiday chaos. Establish a safe zone for them to escape from the celebrations, says Jessica Vogelsang, a San Diego–based veterinarian.
MORE: 24 Tips For Stressless Holiday Planning
3. Tag your pets, too.Guests often (accidentally) leave doors open, turning pets into escape artists. Prepare for the worst by making sure ID tags are legible and current, and consider having your pet microchipped, says Vogelsang.
4. Carol quietly.Loud sounds can stress your pets, says Roger Mugford, a UK-based animal psychologist. Electronics—like your food processor or children's toys—are top offenders, so try to minimize noise.
5. Nix the figgy pudding.People food can be unhealthy and toxic for pets, says Vogelsang. If friends want to give your pal a snack, have treats on hand that are delicious for both two-legged and four-legged partyers (think carrots).
MORE: 5 Holiday Pet Hazards To Watch Out For
6. Carve out bonding time.Pets' needs can go unnoticed during celebrations, but ignoring them could lead to behavioral issues like destructive chewing, Mugford says. Schedule daily time together to keep them satisfied.
Do I miss the tree? Nope. It's one less stressor (and our other awesome decorations make up for it). For those who think I'm a holiday wet blanket? Bah, humbug!
Video: Holiday Survival Guide & VACATION GIVEAWAY!!!
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