The holiday season has arrived for many of us, which means the coming weeks can be as stressful as they are fun. Do yourself and your pets a favor by mindfully preparing for all the festivities and travel you may have planned with these tried and true tips for holiday pet safety.
1. Don't Travel by Air at Peak Times
As we've previously discussed, it's often simply not feasible to fly with a pet on or near a holiday because of various office closures, possible weather delays and the high volume of travelers. Things are more likely to go wrong during the hectic holiday season, so it's far better to make your pet's air travel reservations for before or after the busiest travel days for humans.
2. Make Good Use of Your Pet Travel Crate
If you're planning a pet move in 2016 or still have your pet's travel crate from a previous move, you might want to think about keeping the kennel out in a common area or bedroom so that your pet can use it as a safe place when your house becomes hectic due to holiday visitors. Pets benefit from having a cozy place to retreat from noise and chaos, and if your house is a busy place, keeping them in a crate part time can also help to prevent escapes.
3. Keep Your Pet on a Normal Schedule
It's easy to get distracted during the holidays and to forget about normal exercise and healthy eating habits, but in the long run it's well worth it to do your best to stay on track. Pets are better behaved when they have the chance to burn nervous energy through walks and playtime, and their stomachs will be happier if special holiday treats and food scraps can be limited to a reasonable amount.
4. Focus on Safety
Keeping your pet's microchip information up-to-date, making sure ID tags are securely attached, and having emergency contact info on hand (such as your vet or a last minute pet sitter) are all good ideas. So is making sure your pet doesn't eat any foods that are actually dangerous—here's a list things your pets should not eat or drink.
5. If Traveling, Plan Ahead
If you decide to include your pets in your holiday travel plans by bringing them along on a road trip to visit friends or family, make sure your hosts are 100% on board to adequately accommodate you. If you'll be stopping overnight somewhere, book a pet friendly hotel (there are more and more of them these days) well in advance. If leaving your pet behind, don't wait until the last minute to find a pet sitter or book a boarding reservation.
Let us know if you have any tips to add to the list, and have a happy holiday season, pet lovers!