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Tips & Tricks for a Pawsome Holiday Season

The holidays can sometimes be overwhelming for both you and your pet with all the hustle and bustle. This is the time of year to relax and enjoy all your family and friends. With a few tips and tricks from Bark & Fitz you will be well on your way to a fun holiday season with family and friends, furry ones included.

Create a Safe Zone

Your home can become a bit of a revolving door over the holidays with family and friends stopping by for dinners and gift exchanges. Often, this increase in traffic can cause undue stress for your furry family members. This extreme change to a pet’s environment can cause behavioral problems and other issues that can create stress for you and your family over the holidays. To help avoid this unwanted stress, consider creating a “safe place” for your pets. The safe place should be a part of the house that is away from your holiday festivities, such as a back bedroom. Cats also appreciate somewhere they can hide, like a semi-enclosed box. These spaces give your pet somewhere to go and have some quiet time if they begin to get overwhelmed. You may want to consider adding comforting items to this space, such as Fido’s favourite bed or blanket or some toys or chews to keep them occupied.

Put Away the Plants

Holly, mistletoe and poinsettias are a festive faux-pas in households with pets. Since these plants can be poisonous if ingested, restrict them to rooms that your pets do not have access to, or opt for an artificial alternative.

Top Tree Tips

This popular decoration can be just as eye catching for your pets as it is for you and your guests. For your cats, your tree can often seem like a big toy or climbing apparatus. Secure your tree to help it remain upright in the event Whiskers starts climbing when you aren’t looking. Dogs and cats might think the dangling, shiny objects are toys. Keep small or fragile ornaments out of your

pet’s reach and decorate the lower half of your tree in larger, unbreakable ornaments. Tinsel should also be kept out of reach; it is sparkly and enticing but can cause problems if your pet accidentally ingests it. If you have a real tree, take measures to prevent your pet from being able to drink the water the tree is in. Fertilizers in the water can cause an upset stomach. Even water that doesn’t have fertilizer in it can be harmful, as stagnant water can contain bacteria.

Sugar and Spice are Not so Nice

‘Tis the season for your furry friend to be hanging around the kitchen or dinner table, waiting

for messy cooks and eaters. A simple “out,” “bed” or “leave it” command can come in handy for anytime your dog may be getting into something they shouldn’t - dropped food included. Prepare for the holidays by practicing these commands before your guests are over. Wrapped food is just as tempting for dogs as dropped food. Bowls of wrapped candies or chocolates, or even boxes of chocolate wrapped under the tree as gifts should be avoided. If you really want to treat your pet over the holidays, there are many festive toys and treats that you can offer them for this special occasion. For the gift that keeps on giving, chews and toys will serve as a boredom buster and help keep pets occupied.

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