Having snowball fights, sharing warm mugs of hot coco around a blazing fire, enjoying the smiles on your relatives faces as they open gifts around the tree. These are the memories that make this time of year so special. However, memories such as your Aunt’s cat getting stuck in Grandma’s Christmas tree, your distant cousin’s pug finding is way onto the counter to sample all of the hard-cooked food before dinner, or even your own pet cowering under the bed upstairs while everyone else enjoys the festivities are not memories you want during these usually bright and festive times.
Traveling with pets during this time of year can be hectic and potentially stressful to our usually happy-go-lucky four-legged friends. However, we do have some tips and tricks to share with you as you take your pets with you when you visit family and friends
- Be sure to pack their own food and water bowls.
- Trying to remember everything to pack during holiday travel is always stressful, but making sure you have your pet’s food and water dishes is going to help eliminate some of their stress, quell any potential altercations with other pets, and help forgo using the Tupperware for Fido or Kitty’s food and instead putting it to better use for all those delicious left-overs.
- Pre-measure meals
- Pre-packing their meals in individual plastic bags will help insure consistency with their food. It will also help regulate the relative’s need to over indulge your fur baby ‘because he/she looks so sad that the food bowl was empty’, prevent any upset stomach issues later on, and keep their calorie intake in check.
- Label everything
- Food, treats, medications, go label crazy with it all! Insuring that your pet gets the exact amount of whatever they need during their travel with you will help in the long run. You can also avoid the dreaded ‘Was <insert pets name here> fed already?’ ‘Their food bowl is empty, I don’t he/she has been fed yet today’ situations.
- Indulge in a special meal
- Don’t get us wrong, a piece of ham or spoonful of mashed potatoes is a wonderful treat, or at least your pet will think so. However, don’t indulge your pet with table offerings, instead bring along healthy treats (ones you normally use at home or those you by for special occasions). It also helps if your pet enjoys fresh vegetables, so giving them a carrot stick or two is a great way to help them indulge around the holidays, just be sure those carrots aren’t covered in seasonings/butter/etc. If they are then reach for the treats you brought from home to keep your pet happy and healthy.
- And last but not least; Give a little exercise.
- Go for that run, throw the ball, dangle the string, anything to get your pets up and moving while they join you this holiday season. Unwinding with a long walk, or squeezing in a few short play sessions will help keep your pets feeling happy and less stressed while they are visiting with your family. It also helps get the little ones involved too, letting Fido chase the football during a game of Touch or Tackle makes for some great memories with those that have to sit at the kids table this year.
So, while the holidays may be great for some, it may be a bit stressful for others. Keep in mind while you’re packing for that over due reunion with family and friends your fur baby may not be as happy. However, with the tips and tricks above you can help keep the stress levels down and give everyone a wonderful holiday season to remember for years to come.