Did you know that the holiday season can be one of the most stressful time in your companion animal’s life? While we are busy preparing for, stressing over, and celebrating the season, our pet may take on unnecessary stress or become physically ill. But there are some simple things that you can do to have a Happy Healthy Holiday Pet!
In addition to my animal protection work, I also have an energy healing business where I offer healing to animals or train others on how to do so. As part of the trainings, I talk to people about how companion animals take on our stress (and even medical issues). They are energetically sensitive. I saw this first hand when I would come home some days, fully stressed out, and my cat Sammy would promptly vomit on the floor. He was taking in and expelling my stress. Once I realized this and shook off my stress before coming home, he stopped the welcome-home-vomitting! So be cautious to keep your stress underhand so that your pet does not take it on.
It’s important to keep a consistent schedule with your pet (playtime, cuddle time, going for a walk, etc.). Our schedules can become over burdened during the holidays and that is when our beloved pet may receive less attention from us. When we change our schedule with them, they do not understand why and may begin to have behavioral issues. So it is important to be consistent with them. Spending time with your pet will also help to reduce your stress.
If you have a new kitten or puppy, I would highly recommend slowly rolling out your holiday decorations. My cat Rudy (who is one year old) is celebrating his first Christmas in the Phillips home. Rudy has a kitten tendency to eat everything in site (including plastic bags, paper towels, etc.). To make sure that my artificial Christmas tree would be safe, I rolled it out in phases. First I put up the tree with nothing on it. Rudy chewed on it a few times and I stopped him. The next day I added lights and watched Rudy to make sure that he would not chew the wires. Then I added soft ornaments (lest he decide to smack one flying across the room). It can be overwhelming for our small furry friends to suddenly pull out all of our holiday decorations at once. To them, it may be like an amusement park of new play things.
Be careful about bringing in decorations that are poisonous to pets. Check this webpage from the ASPCA on plants and foods that are dangerous. The last thing that you want is for your pet to become sick and for your busy schedule to fit in an emergency room visit. Make sure that your home is holiday safe for your pets.
I’ve created a helpful tip sheet listing 10 things that you can do to keep your pet happy and healthy this holiday season (and throughout the year). So click here to download it. When you can follow these ten tips, your pet will be healthy and happy through the holidays, and that will help you to relax.
Allie Phillips is a nationally-recognized author, attorney and animal advocate. As a prosecuting attorney volunteering in her local animal control shelter, she exposed the barbaric practice of pound seizure and has gone on to eliminate the practice in numerous shelters. That started her path as a strong, effective and respected animal advocate. Allie has been a federal and state animal protection lobbyist and as the director of the National Center for Prosecution of Animal Abuse at the National District Attorneys Association, she teaches criminal justice professionals on animal protection and prosecution issues. She has written the award-winning and only book on pound seizure: How Shelter Pets are Brokered for Experimentation: Understanding Pound Seizure and the award-winning go-to guide on getting involved to help animals: Defending the Defenseless: A Guide to Protecting and Advocating for Pets. Most recently she co-authored Investigating & Prosecuting Animal Abuse: A Guidebook on Safer Communities, Safer Families & Being an Effective Voice for Animal Victims.
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