Even when we complain sometimes about the stress and rush surrounding Christmas and the New Year, at heart we all love the festivities and celebrations of this time of year.
We have a few ideas to make sure that it is a happy festive season for both two and four-legged friends alike.
The perfect Christmas gifts for pets
Dogs love wrapped-up treats. A simple paper bag that they can open with their nose is all they need, or wrap it in cardboard for more of a challenge. Dogs will be able to smell what is inside straight away and will figure it out. Don’t use any materials that your dog could hurt themselves with. Cardboard and paper are fine.
You can also fill an empty toilet paper or kitchen roll with a few treats and plug the ends, for example with screwed up paper. Make a few holes in the roll, just large enough that the treats can fall through so that your doggy has to roll it to get the treats out.
One gift that you can be sure will be used on a daily basis is one for feeding the dog or cat. Alongside water and feed bowls made of stainless steel, ceramic, plastic or melamine with funny motives or pretty designs, you can also get colourful placemats for underneath. These both look good and protect the floor from water and food scraps.
Sleeping is just as important as eating, if not more, and the selection of beds, sofas and cushions for canines and velvet paws ranges from cosy to luxurious.
Toys for active time also make a great gift, as do glittery, reflector or colourful collars and leads.
Smart dog shirts for winter are a real head turner and colourful dog biscuits or cat sweets are also sure to attract plenty of attention.
Also, home-made presents are always the best, children get a lot of fun from creating a Yuletide surprise for their pet together with the whole family.
Name tags are an excellent gift for cats and dogs, keeping them safely identified when out and about. They come in a vast range of designs and sizes suitable for any pet.
But, remember: one thing that does not belong under the Christmas tree is a live animal – unless buying a pet has been planned and discussed at length within the family beforehand.
Tips for keeping your pet safe and relaxed
- Christmas feasting: no left-over bones
Left-over bones, especially poultry bones, are dangerous because they can splinter when chewed and injure the digestive tract. Chewy-bones made from buffalo or cattle skin are better. For great Christmas fun, there are also snack chews in Christmas shapes and other Christmassy themes. As well as this, dog or cat food with salmon or duck will comfort your four legged friend way beyond not being able to partake of the Christmas feasting together with the rest of the family.
- Fireworks and noise
For pets, stress, disrupted routines, noise and fireworks are more unsettling than fun. The arrival of the New Year can be stressful for some animals. Loud fireworks throw many into a state of panic. It is important to prepare your pets for the celebrations. Take your dog for a walk in the morning, well before the fireworks start. Keep them on the lead in case of early celebrations – one firework can be all it takes to for your dog to take off in fright. Set up a “quiet room” for the evening with the windows blacked out and calming music playing. You can also train your pet with special CDs with noises that scare animals, including fireworks.
On the evening itself, create a safe refuge for your dog by drawing the curtains. Many animals are even afraid of the flashing lights! The creature will feel more secure in the semi-darkness. You can also help your pet a lot through your own confident behaviour: look self-assured and relaxed, that’ll put it across to Fido that that everything’s OK despite the loud bangs. Don’t under any circumstances comfort a trembling animal by talking soothingly to it and stroking it sympathetically, that just reinforces the panic.
Animals who suffer full-on panic attacks on New Year’s Eve can also be given calming treatments like adaptil which works to naturally reduce anxiety. Your vet can also prescribe medication to your pet. Discuss the use of medication with your vet in good time so that your pet can also have a Happy New Year.
We wish you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! And remember, if you need more advice and tips, contact us or come by your local Maxi Zoo store.