Ways To Spend The Holiday Season With Your Pets
The holiday season is usually when we want to spend time with those we love, including family, friends, and, yes, even our pets! Our pets should be part of the festivities and celebrations associated with the season because it is exciting. The pet experts at AKC say that bringing a new pet into the home this time of year, while thrilling, can also be quite chaotic, so finding ways to spend time together is crucial.
With all the decorating, entertaining, shopping, and baking, it’s hard to see how our pets fit into all of these things. However, it can be worrisome if we are gone to many holiday parties or too busy with shopping and entertaining to neglect to give our pet’s attention. We certainly don’t want to risk them feeling separation anxiety or stress.
So, what can we do to ensure we also spend this holiday season with our furry companions? Here are some fun and innovative ways to take the extra effort, include your pets, and spend quality time with them. Just be sure you also take precautions and keep your pet safe during the holidays.
Bring Your Pet with You on Visits
Whether you are going to visit family or friends or just pick up a Christmas tree - you can bring your pet with you. As long as those you are visiting don’t mind, bring your furry companion along and let them enjoy spending time with you elsewhere. Just make sure that your pet is okay and adapt quickly to new environments and situations. For example, if your pet doesn’t like to be left alone but is still anxious when meeting new people or being in new places, you might want to invest in a crate or carrier to bring your pet along.
If you take your pet to pick out a Christmas tree at a farm, many of them welcome pets as long as you keep them on a leash, but it doesn’t hurt for you to call ahead and ask. Your pet will enjoy the time with you as well as being outdoors in the fresh air, and it allows your pet to be with you as you embark on a family tradition.
Decorate Their Area (or Them!)
You can include your pets by decorating their space and throughout your home. Just be sure that you do this with caution - in other words, don’t be putting up any lights around their area since pets might chew on them. Also, ensure that the decorations you use are safe for pets.
For example, if you have fish, you can add window decorations. Hamsters and gerbils like to nibble on wood chips, so maybe you can make a garland out of wood chips, make a hay wreath for a rabbit, or create a festive cat toy. You can even dress your pups in ugly Christmas sweaters or add some holiday-themed bling to their collars.
Take a Nap Together
The holidays bring about a lot of activity and people, and sometimes all the hustling and bustling is exhausting not only for you but your pet as well. The stress of all the activity should pave the way for a much-needed quiet time of rest for both of you to enjoy together. Having a designated area within your home for your pet to escape and a place to retreat in case it gets anxious is an excellent idea not to get too overwhelmed.
It’s also an excellent idea for you to have time for napping and recharging during the holiday festivities. Napping together, whether your pet has a bed or sleeping area near your own or sleeps in the bed with you - it’s a truly nice way to spend some time together.
Set Aside Quality Playtime
Let’s face it: schedules around the holidays can be hectic. You may be leaving home more often to attend parties and get-togethers and may be leaving your pet on its own for long periods. If your pet is used to you being around more often, you run the risk of them developing separation anxiety, resulting in your pet destroying things around the house.
On another observation from pet experts at Mawoo, many new pet owners come back to return their dogs due to lack of time that often leads to anxiety and depression among the pets which can prove disturbing for a dog.
Therefore it’s important that your pet is getting socialized and much-needed playtime, be it with you, a caregiver, or other animals especially if you have brought him in recently. It helps if you can coordinate quality time with your pet right within your holiday calendar so that you are actively taking just a few moments, maybe a half-hour at the most, to spend time with your furry friend.
Some examples you can implore to spend time together include taking your pet for a walk every day, taking it outside for a game of catch or fetch, playing together indoors with toys, or even teaching it some new tricks for treats. Your pet will appreciate that you take the time to focus your attention on it.
Go Shopping Together
Purchasing gifts don’t just have to be about other people; you can include your pets in the holiday errands. Many pet stores or boutiques allow pets to be brought right into the store, as long as they are on a leash. If you have a social pet that enjoys visiting and exploring new places, take them shopping with you to a pet store and allow them to help you find gifts that you can give it, such as some fun new toys, accessories, or a new pet bed for taking those naps together.
Watch Holiday Movies Together
Ensuring that you provide yourself with some downtime to relax and watch your favorite television shows or movies during the season can be necessary to help you take a break from everything. During the cold winter season, it is also really lovely to stay inside with a nice warm blanket and enjoy vegging out.
Curl up with your pet and let them snuggle on the couch with you to watch some of your favorite holiday movies or shows, perhaps with some treats. Of course, people like to do a lot of their wrapping while watching seasonal shows, too, since it puts them in the mood - let your pet spend time with you doing this by doing your wrapping on the floor with your pet beside you. But if you have a more curious pet about wrapping paper, bows, or your gifts, it might be better to do the wrapping another time!
Whatever the holiday season brings, make an effort to include your pet in the activities as much as possible. Your pet will be so grateful to spend the time with you. Spending the holiday season with your pet can bring about better mental health and wellbeing for both of you since pets can help to reduce stress, and your pet will be happier with you there. Keep your pets happy and healthy this winter by enjoying the holidays together.