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There are few silent nights with holiday guests constantly coming and going. Although many pets enjoy the added attention and activity, the noise associated with gatherings can make some animals anxious. “Pets tend to become accustomed to a certain routine. Any disruption can be stressful for some pets,” Dr. Todd explains.
For that reason, give your pet a quiet area where it’s possible for him to take a nap or hide safely. A pet’s natural curiosity may draw him out when he is ready to participate in the festivities. And make sure you brief anyguests on the rules for your pet, including his diet (no table scraps!) and habits. Let guests know that it is OK to show the pet attention, but that it should be on the pet’s terms. Also, visiting children should be supervised when handling an animal.
The weather outside can be frightful, and pet owners who are staving off the cold during the holiday season should be watchful of certain hazards while their pets are enjoying the great outdoors:
Pet owners should be aware of what ASPCA experts are calling the top dangers for pets during the holiday season:
If you're thinking of adopting a new pet during the holidays, you may want to think again. A house full of noise, decorations and guests may not be the ideal conditions for an untrained pet. In addition, the stress of the season may not allow owners to dedicate their time to training a young pet. Waiting until after the start of the new year can allow new pet parents to devote the proper care and training to their newest family member.
As for giving a pet as a gift, it is not always a good idea. Veterinary technician Dana Farbman of the ASPCA says, “Adding a pet to a home should be a family decision. Animals are not inanimate objects” that can be returned after the initial excitement has passed. Everyone in the household should be able and willing to take care of an animal.
If you would like to help bring the joy of a new pet into a family, you can put together an adoption kit as a gift. Staples to include are a leash, collar and food dish. Just be sure that the entire family has first discussed and agreed on the responsibilities of pet ownership. After the holidays have passed and the home is pet-ready, new owners can go together to adopt a puppy or kitten.
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