If you know me well, you will know that Christmas is my most favourite time of the year.
BUT it may not be your pets favourite at all. Some pets can find Christmas a little overwhelming. Others may be frightened of all the people and noise. Or they may be the opposite and get over excited with so many people, and little people running around.
It is a good idea to take some time over the next couple of days to make a plan for the furry members of your family. Especially if your plans include taking them with you to others homes, or if you are hosting people and pets at yours.
Create a Pet Haven
Children and pets often don't mix, and should not be left unsupervised. Create a space that is just for pets. You can do this by having a room for pets only, or maybe they have the back yard and the kids have the front. Be aware of the different needs of your pets. Young excitable puppies will tend to jump and run after young children, be even more aware of this if either have not been exposed to each other. Older pets, may suffer from hearing loss, or stiff sore joints. Having a young child suddenly appear, or touch them in a sore spot may result in a startled dog, that reacts with a bite. Having a crate with a blanket over it and a soft bed can be a nice space to get away from a busy home. Personally I always like to get up earlier than the rest of the household and take my dog for a nice peaceful walk, that way he has had a chance to exercise before the rest of the family have even got up. Another good idea is to prepare some enrichment toys for your dog, things like a pre stuffed kong, or make some pupsicles if it is going to be a warm one. You could have a digging pit, or cooling pool. Or even hide some toilet rolls around the yard so they have some searching to find their breakfast!
If you have several different dogs from different families, take in to account their individual needs and personalities. Some may not mix well together and may need space from each other.
Christmas is fill of lots of extra treats but it pays to be aware of the things that are dangerous for our pets. Most people are aware of chocolate, which might be found as a wrapped gift under your Christmas tree. The darker the chocolate the worse it is for them. There are other things too, often here in New Zealand we have BBQ's, which also means there are likely onions. These can cause vomiting & diarrhoea. Other foods to be aware of are things like Christmas fruit mince pies and cake which contain sultanas which can cause kidney failure. Even left overs can be an issue, giving things like the fat off your ham, or the bone from your roast can cause some very serious issues.
If the unthinkable happens, and you need to contact a vet ring your usual number and you will be connected to the after hours vet. There will always be someone there to help should you need it. However I hope that you do not need that option!
I hope you all have a safe and Happy Christmas & that Santa Paws is good to all your fur family.
Looking forward to bringing some new things to Timaru in 2022❤