It’s wonderful time of year – holiday parties, family gatherings, and visits with friends cover the calendar. For many people, spending the holidays away from their pets is inconceivable and we agree. Here are some tips to ensure everyone, including the furry members of the family, enjoys the holiday travels.
You’re Welcome – If you’re staying with family or friends, make sure they’re comfortable having your pet as a guest. Ask them about restricted areas or rules that will need to be followed during your stay. If you’re headed to a hotel, be sure to let them know your pet will be joining you, and verify that you can comply with their pet policy.
In the Car – While driving, it’s important that your pet is properly secured in a carrier, crate, or seat belt harness. If your dog is one that get nervous in the car, you may want to check out Through A Dog’s Ear. This psychoacoustically designed music helps your pup relax without putting you to sleep in the driver’s seat.
Santa’s Watching – All the new places, scents, and people make traveling really exciting for our dogs. Understanding the rules in a new environment, however, can be confusing. Help them impress your hosts by brushing up on basic obedience before you go.
I Need My Space – The hustle and bustle of holiday activities can be exhausting – for us and our pets! Bring your pet’s bed or crate and their favorite toy and give them a peaceful place to relax.
Watchin’ the Clock – Something as simple as feeding and exercising your pet on their normal schedule can reduce their anxiety. Set an alarm to remind you of your pet’s feeding time and use their daily walks to enjoy a little one-on-one time.
Beware of Spoilage – With all the eating, drinking, and being merry, pets are often fed things they shouldn’t be during the holidays. Foods like chocolate, raisins, macadamia nuts, onions, and alcohol are toxic for your dog, and simply eating foods he’s not used to can lead to gastrointestinal distress. Let other guests know that your pet is well-fed and anyone offering treats may be cleaning up after him later!
An Ounce of Prevention – Pets can slip out the door in a flash, so pick up an early present for your pet – new ID tags engraved with your cell phone number. In the event you need to make posters, it’s also helpful to have a picture of your pet along. Finally, having your pet’s veterinary records with you could be critical in the event of an illness or injury. Rather than lugging around a large file, make a paper copy of current vaccination records and scan the rest of the information for storage on an easy-to-pack USB drive.
Keep Your Cool – Over-excitement, anxiety and stress are common emotions around the holidays. Remember that your pet will pick up on your feelings – so relax, stay calm, and have fun!