Cheryl Wicks: Here come the holidays — let’s make it good for everyone
We have a strong tail wind propelling us into the holiday season. There is a lot to think about when it comes to the well being of your pets.
This is the season when there will be all kinds of people treats and rich food available. It tastes so good to us and so we are tempted to share the love with our beloved pets. DON’T. All that rich food can bring on a pancreatitis attack which will put your pet in lot of pain and most likely an expensive trip to a veterinarian and some times a long trip to Loomis, as the local vets are not usually open on Thanksgiving and Christmas. A lot of intestinal distress can also be caused by human food. Be sure to have some appropriate doggie and kitty and even horsey treats available.
If you are going to have a house full of company consider that doors can be left open by children and pets can escape and be hurt or worse in the outdoors. Think about the personality of your pet and then decide what is appropriate for your pet. Some pets are very sociable and love lots of company and children running and making lots of noise. There may often be loud Christmas music which the pet is not used to. Even if your pet is very sociable, please remind your guests that your pet has his/her own treats. If you have a pet that is not accustomed to children it might be best to remove your pet from the household by finding a place for your pet to stay where it will be well cared for and happy and out of the stress of all the holiday chaos. Sometimes a quiet room on another floor or away from the hub bub might make your pet happy. Leave on a TV or radio and have some toys for the pet to entertain themselves.
Try not to break up your pet’s routine too much during this busy time with family and friends. Some of your visiting friends and family might enjoy going along for a walk with the dog or a trip to the dog park. Company, especially children, might enjoy going to the barn to feed the horses and/or other livestock. Be sure to give them safety instructions if they are not use to barn yard animals.
Sometimes adults have the idea that a puppy or a kitty would be a great Christmas gift for the kids. It is usually not a good idea to give a live animal to anyone without them having been part of the process of picking out the animal. Animals have unique personalities just like humans do. The research shows that people select animals for how they look and return them for how they behave. They don’t even have to necessarily misbehave, they just might be the wrong match for the adopter. This can be destabilizing for the animal and upsetting for the adopter. Make a selection that really works for you and your family. At Sammie’s Friends we have staff that are well informed about the animals and can help you make the right choice.
Are the holidays a good time to adopt? It can be a good time because children are out of school for a bit and adults often take time off. This can be a good opportunity to spend extra time with your new pet. Pets need time and attention to properly acclimate to their new home and family. If you don’t have the time and will be pretty much unavailable to the animal during this time, it is better to wait until all has calmed down.
To summarize, make conscious intentional decisions about what will serve your pet best during this busy season. Don’t let them get lost in the shuffle. They need to eat right, have fresh water, sleep well, get exercise and have some quiet time out of the fray.
Happy Holidays to all (two and four legged, finned and feathered) from Sammie’s Friends. Be safe and spread the love!
Cheryl Wicks is the Co-Founder and President of Sammie’s Friends
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