By Robin Hawn Rhea, Senior Brand Manager
The winter holidays and celebrations bring change to you and your pet's routine. From visiting guests who aren't familiar with your pet's specific needs or schedule, to food preparation that entices counter surfing. Access to candy, chocolate and tinsel can also put your pets at risk. How can you help keep your pets safe and happy throughout the holiday season, but still ensure they have a merry time? Assign the task of watching out for your pets to a trustworthy dog loving family member. You'll still be checking on your pets, but having a second in command may save you an accidental escape, potty accident or foreign (maybe festive) object ingestion. Your favorite holiday movie, caroling and shopping may make your holiday full of cheer, but you dogs may feel neglected if not a little Grinchy.
Make time for your pets away from the other activities of the day. Get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning, or set aside time before bed to walk, run, play and love your dog. This can help steer away from potential separation anxiety and nervous energy. This will also serve as your time to clear your own mind, and to help you keep focused on what you want most out of your holiday experience. Give your dogs some special high-value toys, such as our Busy Buddy® treat holding and dispensing toys, to keep them focused on pet-appropriate activities, and away from your decorations, gifts and snacks.
As you are headed off to visit family and friends, consider organizing a play date for the pets that will be in attendance. This will entertain everyone and let your pets burn off energy while getting in some socialization. Make sure all participants are healthy and willing. Introduce pets slowly to each other, and keep them clear of the buffet line! Looking for a way to make the holidays extra furry and bright? Incorporate pets into your gifting. Frame the favorite pet photo of the dog and cat lovers on your list. Create a fun and homemade photo book that lets people show off their furry babies uniquely. Have a dog lover on your list that has everything? Teach a special trick to their family pet that you can demonstrate during the holiday festivities to delight your family and friends.
The holidays can come and go and leave you feeling depleted. Giving back can help lift your spirits while helping or positively impacting someone else. Let your love and giving back efforts extend to pets. Give a gift of pet food, a monetary donation or volunteer your time to your local animal shelter. I have a friend who makes cookies for her local animal shelter employees and volunteers that work through the holidays. But you can help your local shelter without even leaving your couch.
PetSafe will be donating 15,000 of our toys to shelters across the US. We hope you'll help us get these product to the shelters that need them most. Simply like our PetSafe Brand Facebook page, and for each new like we will donate one toy (up to 15,000) to a shelter pet in need.
However you choose to show your support of those that need love and care, we applaud your efforts! Happy Holidays!