Caged pets should mostly be fine over Christmas. Their needs and care will stay much the same. Cats and dogs, by contrast, may need a lot of special attention to keep them safe and happy over the Christmas period. Here are five tips.
Stick to your usual routine and rules
Dogs and even cats generally do best when they have a consistent routine. They definitely need consistent rules. If something is bad for them throughout the year, then it’s bad for them at Christmas. It’s not a treat. It’s just harmful.
Consider investing in dog training
If your dog has behavioral issues, even minor ones, then the Christmas period could make them worse. You don’t need to put up with it. In fact, that’s a very bad idea for both you and your dog. You might be able to get some help online, at least for minor issues. The best approach, however, is to get in touch with a proper dog training company. If you’re not able to get a slot for Christmas, then think about making it a New Year’s resolution to get your dog properly trained. It’s safer for them, you, and everyone.
Make sure that pets have a safe space
Both dogs and cats need a “me space”. For dogs, this can be a crate or a bed. For cats it’s basically anywhere they can access safely but humans and animals generally can’t. This is different from the places they like to lounge when they’re feeling relaxed. You can put your pet in there (or persuade it in there) if you know there’s a stressful situation coming up. This could be anything from guests arriving to you needing to make a lot of noise, for example putting up Christmas decorations.
Set rules for visitors
This should apply at any time of year. It is, however, particularly important in the holidays because they are holidays. A lot of people are, understandably, in the mood to let their hair down, play, and party. This may be great for them but it could be very disruptive for your pet. Often the easiest way to deal with this is to put your pet in their safe place. By the same token, be careful about taking your pet with you if you go to visit other people. It’s their house, so it’s their rules. If you do take your pet with you, then, really, you have to be prepared to leave if your host will not respect your pet’s welfare.
Be very careful with Christmas decorations
Make sure your Christmas tree is on a really firm base so it can’t be easily toppled over. Watch what decorations you put at the bottom. These can be easily pulled off by both dogs and cats. The other issue with cats is them wanting to climb the tree. Really there isn’t much you can do about this so think carefully about what decorations you use. Be particularly careful with lights. Your safest option is battery-operated LEDs. These don’t need to be plugged in so they can’t be pulled out. You also have more flexibility about where you hang them. LEDs use minimal electricity but they are still electricity so make sure that there’s no way your pet can bite or claw at them.