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The jolly holiday season is upon us and tis the season for family and friend gatherings, involving delicious food, decorating and gift exchanges. We are all preparing to have a cheerful time and that time should include our four-legged family members. This time of the year can not only be stressful for us, but it can affect our furkids just the same. Here are a few tips and tricks to make things go over smoothly for everyone!

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Having guests is a wonderful thing and though our pets may know all of them, this time of the year can become rather stressful and bring out anxiety in any of them. It is important to keep these things in mind when it comes to your pets, but also your guests:

  • With most pets, especially dogs, food is a number one motivator. In order to get your pets more comfortable with guests, try having their favorite bag of treats at the front door for them to give to your dog. This may help them to easily warm up and make the transition into having company much easier.

  • Let guests know how to properly approach your pet, especially if you have a shy or nervous one. Keep an eye on children, this is a great time to teach children how to correctly behave around pets. Teach kids the following:

    • Do not approach a dog without the owner’s permission - even if you already know the dog is friendly.

    • Do not jump or yell near a sleeping dog - this may scare them

    • Do not run after a dog who wants to get away - allow them to calm down and find peace on their own terms.

    • Do not bother a dog that is eating or chewing a bone or toy - keep your hands to yourself and wait until the pup is done.

    • Do not stare a dog in the eye for a long time - this can be intimidating and scare some dogs.

    • Avoid playing tug of war or other games that promote aggression

  • There will be a lot of food passed around, and some people may be inclined to share with your pets. In order to keep your pets from getting an upset stomach, or packing on a few pounds themselves, let your guests know to enjoy their meal and that there is no need to share with the four legged companions. Instead, offer your pets some long lasting chews while you enjoy your meal. Here are some of our favorites:

    Shankzilla - an air-dried beef shank that withstands pressure of even the extreme chewers.

    No-Hide Chews - these are your most comparable thing to rawhide but so much healthier. These are actually digestible and thus cause for less of a chocking and blockage hazard. Always monitor your dog while chewing!

    BUBA Water Buffalo Horns - these are easy to stuff with peanut butter and freeze to make for a longer lasting chew experience. They themselves are pretty tough too!

    Bully Sticks - these are a great and tough chew to keep your pup occupied for a bit. There are different types but our favorite are the new Honey I’m Home sticks that are infused with honey!

  • Give your pets an area of personal space in the house. This can be their crate or a familiar room that they spend time in. It is also best to keep your pet’s routine intact throughout this time. Try to keep their walks, playtime and feeding schedule as similar as possible. Our companion animals can get stressed and confused when there are structure changes and those happen very easily when our own routine changes.

Since this time can be overwhelming we hope these tips allow you to sit back, kick your feet up and enjoy an accident and trouble free holiday season, with pets and guests. Stop by Pure Pet for some great treats and holiday toys during our 12 Days of Christmas sale!

Have a holly, jolly Holiday season!