The holidays are quickly approaching and with them comes the usual craziness. You’re probably already starting to make your holiday plans. While you’re figuring out your schedule and knee-deep in decorations, don’t forget to include your pet in your plans.
Making your plans with your pet in mind will ease your holiday stress. Save yourself time and the last-minute scramble of realizing there are no pet-friendly hotels near your family. If you are entertaining at home, take steps to keep your pets calm and out of the trash can.
If you are already feeling overwhelmed and aren’t sure where to start, you’re in the right place. We have tips for pet safety, advice for what to do with your pet while traveling, and more. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about planning for the holidays with your pet.
At-Home Holiday Safety Tips
Even if you are planning on spending the holidays at home, there are things you should be aware of to keep the holidays merry and bright for your dog or cat:
If you are having guests over, give your dog a minute to sniff them as they enter. Keep your dog on leash when guests are first entering your home. This will help you keep track of your dog and will keep them from being overwhelmed by people crowding into their space.
Keep your cat in a room with food and water and access to a litter box, at least until your guests have arrived. This way, you can make sure they don’t try to sneak out the door.
Keep an eye on your food, especially if it has ingredients that may be toxic. Greasy, fatty foods can cause stomach upset, vomiting and potentially serious conditions like pancreatitis. Between Halloween and New Years Day is when veterinarians report an uptick in pancreatitis cases coming into their practice.
Keep your trash cans tightly closed or inaccessible to your pets to prevent midnight snacking. Be especially cautious if you have bones or greasy food waste in the trash. Bones can splinter and cause lacerations of the mouth or blockages in the digestive tract.
Set up an area for your pet to get some quiet time. Even a people-loving dog can get overstimulated and may need some alone time. Make sure your dog has access to food and water, and inform guests to leave your dog alone if he has gone to his quiet spot.
Keep your pet exercised and on a schedule. This will help them feel at ease even with the holiday rush. If you are afraid you won’t have time to keep your dog on his usual walking schedule, book time with us, your pet professional, for a walking visit. Your dog will get to stay on schedule, and you will have one less thing on your plate.
Going Out Of Town For The Holidays
If you’re going out of town for the holidays, whether your pet is in tow or not, here is what you need to know.
Traveling With Your Pet
If you have plans to go out of town with your pet, plan your itinerary well in advance. If you are traveling with your pet, keep some things in mind:
Have a sturdy crate with you. You will need one for air travel. Even if traveling by car, a crate will keep your dog protected in case of an accident. Their crate also gives them a place to go if you are staying in a hotel. If your dog is crate trained, their crate will be a familiar place for them to stay and will give them their own little calm, comforting space to relax in.
If traveling by air, keep in mind that airlines no longer allow ESA (Emotional Support Animals) to fly for free. Take note of any pet fees that you are responsible for.
Check and double-check your accommodations. You don’t want to find out at the last minute that the hotel you booked doesn’t actually know that your dog is tagging along. Some hotels place a limit on the number of pet-friendly rooms available during the holidays.
Try to keep your dog on a schedule, and take him for regular walks. This will keep your dog stimulated and help prevent anxiety. Staying active can also lower your stress level by giving you time alone.
Bring your dog’s food with you when you travel. You may not be able to find their usual food at your destination. An upset stomach in a hotel or your family member’s house is not a holiday memory you want.
Give your pet plenty of attention. Being in a strange place and off of their exact routine can cause anxiety in some animals.
Leaving Your Pet At Home While You Travel
Sometimes it’s just easier to leave your pet in the care of a trusted sitter. Travel is too stressful for some pets, or you may have trouble finding a place to stay. If you have a trusted pet professional, you’ll feel totally comfortable leaving your pet at home.
Even if you are just going to a friend’s house for the evening, have a pet professional stop in and take your dog for a walk or play with your cat. You can enjoy yourself knowing that you don’t have to rush home to let your dog out. And you can avoid coming home to chewed-up shoes.
Protect Your Home While You Travel
Having a pet professional stop into your home is good for more than just your pet. It’s good for your house too! If someone is coming and going, your house won’t seem like a good target for any unwanted guests. Unfortunately, break-ins go up during the holiday season, so why make yourself a target?
You can call us at PetProGo, and book a house visit, even if you’re taking your pet with you! We’ll check your mail, water your plants, and keep your house looking lived in. Our home visits are 20 minutes, $24 a visit!
Whether we’re walking your pet or watching your house, call now to book your spot. Here in Los Angeles, pet sitters fill up fast - especially great ones like our Pet Pros!