This is 2 of my dogs and was taken 2 years ago. Lola (in the Santa suit) is a Jack Russell Terrier and Buster (in the Rudolph costume) is a Toy Fox Terrier. They don’t really like to dress up so this picture is the last time they wore their Christmas costumes. Obviously dressing them up was more for me than for them. Since that picture was taken I have added a rescue Chihuahua, Chili, and I have a cat, Mocha. Our pets are a big part of our family.
During the holiday season, it is important to remember that it is stressful for our pets too. Mine all got very anxious when we were putting up the tree. They just don’t understand why we add this big bright, shiny tree to our living room each year. They are also confused by all the extra hustle and bustle. We are gone more than during the rest of the year. There are holiday parties, getting together with friends and all the shopping.
I try to show them a little extra attention during this busy time. That is hard because there is always something to do during this busy, busy time. I also try to keep their diets as stable as possible. They are already anxious with all that is going on so I don’t want to increase the chances of stomach upset by feeding them food that is rich or sweet.
I try to make sure that all the extra chocolate that is in the house is kept way out of their reach. Chocolate can be fatal to dogs and cats. Their livers cannot process it and that can lead to liver failure. The bad part is that dogs especially seem to love it as much as humans so if they get to it they will eat all they can get. The more they eat the higher the odds of a fatal outcome.
The other thing to watch for is to avoid letting them sample high fat tidbits from your meals and snacks. Eating too much fat can cause pancreatitis. This is very painful and can kill them if you don’t get medical attention.
Pets add so much to our lives and are an important part of the holidays. You just have to take extra care of then during this season. Given them some extra love and attention to help reduce their anxiety due to all the activity and changes to their routine that is inevitable this time of the year.
Also be extra vigilant about what they are eating. Keep the chocolates up and out of the way. Make sure that young children know not to share candy with the pets. Avoid sharing high-fat snacks and treats to avoid stomach upset or the more serious pancreatitis.
Do you have pets? What do you do to make sure they stay safe and enjoy the season? Do you dress them up?
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