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Holiday Pet Parent Tips

By Jessica Neal, Nutrition Center Manager, Freely Pet

pets dog cat holidays

The holidays are a time for celebration, decorations, big meals, and temptation galore. This is true not just for humans but for our four-legged family members too.

As you plan this holiday season, the Freely Nutrition Center is here for you with important tips on keeping your pets safe, happy, and healthy.

Freely Nutrition Center

 

What kind of plans should I make for my pets during the holidays?

dog pet parent holidays
This holiday season is likely to look a bit different for everyone this year. When making your plans, be sure to include your favorite furry family member!

If you are planning to travel or expect to be out and about, lock in those boarding or doggy day camp reservations at your Best Friends Pet Hotel location. Those spots can fill up quickly!

If you are staying home this year, plan to include your pets in the celebrations. This may mean adjusting the celebration to stick to your pet’s schedule but having them near will bring you all closer together.

This is also a great time to check the hours of operation for important contacts, like your vet. It’s nice to have some extra peace of mind knowing your pet’s care team is accessible when you already have so much on your plate (quite literally!).

 

We are planning a big holiday meal! Can my pet have some?

dog holidays food

Holiday food is often decadent and full of flavor, so it’s tempting to sneak a little something to your furry family member under the table. But these tasty morsels can cause unintended tummy troubles (and add to their waistline).

Only 10% of your pet’s daily calories should come from treats, toppers, and extras. Yep, even during the holidays.

Don’t leave the turkey or pies unattended on the counter or you might come back to find them missing and your pet with a full belly.

Your pets are not always as trustworthy as they are cute in the face of temptation, especially with the added distractions around your home.

PS: Try one of Freely’s bone broths for a lower calorie alternative treat!

 

I’m not sure how my pet will handle having my family around. What can I do to help?

dog playing brain teaser toy

While the holidays are a time of celebration, they can be taxing on pets and humans alike!

Consider adding a stress-busting play session, especially with a brain-teasing toy, to release some pent-up physical and mental energy before the festivities begin.

Another great idea is to add a few extra training sessions on the morning of the big day.

Puppies will be ready for a nap after a brain workout with obedience lessons or trick training!

Both are great ways to bond with your pet.

Even with some stress reduction measures, your pet might still become overwhelmed. Ensure your pet has a quiet place to relax away from the excitement and keep an eye on doors that an escape artist might use to dart away from the action.

 

My pet is acting really different during the celebration. What is going on?

dog holidays deer antlers

Many of us added new pets to our family in the past year. Even though they have settled in and become comfortable in our homes, the excitement of the holidays is a new, often overwhelming, experience for them.

Don’t worry if your normally outgoing pet becomes more reserved during the holiday season or your extra nervous pets are a bit shy around dinner time. With a little patience, they will be happy to spend the evening recouping with you after a long day of celebration.

 

I want my house to look festive but are the decorations dangerous for my pet?

cat holidays

Think twice about what you use to decorate your house and where you place holiday décor.

Pets observe with their mouths rather than their eyes, and sampling ribbon, tinsel, potpourri, or water in tree stands can be dangerous.

Although poinsettias are not quite as dangerous as previously believed, it is best to keep them, and other more poisonous plants like mistletoe and holly, away from pets.

And remember that other favorite people foods, such as chocolate and eggnog, can also be toxic treats.

Decorations, like trees and candles, can pose more physical dangers to your pet.

Your cat might find climbing your Christmas tree to be a fun activity, but it’s a party-pooper if it falls over and injures someone!

Candles and fireplaces should also be monitored to keep pets at a safe distance away.

 

We adopted a new pet this year! What can we do to really make them part of the family?

dog holiday festivities traditions

The holidays are a time of traditions and spending time together. Why not try making a new tradition with your pet?

An evening walk to check out the neighborhood decorations is a way to incorporate your puppy into the festivities.

A fort-building contest with spare boxes will give your kitty a place to play and a new experience to keep their minds busy.

These can become cherished activities, and you and your pet can look forward to them each year!

 

Still have questions? The Freely Nutrition Center has answers!

The Freely Nutrition Center wants to help you find the right food for your cat or dog and answer any questions you have about your pet’s diet and nutritional needs. Simply call (833-918-1236), email (nutrition@freelypet.com) or live chat (freelypet.com) with their experts.

And as a loyal guest of Best Friends Pet Hotel, when you contact them this Holiday season, they’ll send you a FREE small bag of Freely kibble! Just mention this blog post during your free consultation.

 

 

About the Author:

Jessica Neal is the Nutrition Center Manager at Freely Pet. She has a Master’s Degree in Animal Science with an emphasis in Genomics and Bioinformatics. She’s also a devoted pet parent to Atlas, her outgoing, sweet, and silly dog, Peabody, her loveable rescue cat, and Divine, her beautiful, hardworking quarter horse. While Jessica has studied in several fields, her true passion is small animal nutrition, and she is excited to connect with pet parents like you to help you navigate your pet’s nutritional journey.

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) – SAFETY & READINESS

human hand holding dog paw

A Message from Best Friends Pet Hotel CEO Jared Pinsker to our Pet Parents:

The past few weeks have been challenging and evolving for all as we learn more about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). As leaders in the pet care industry, we care deeply about your family and take the responsibility of caring for your pets very seriously.

Guided by Best Friends veterinarian consultant Dr. Sharon Davis, DVM, we are focused on ensuring the wellness of our pets and people by taking the following actions:

  • Monitoring: We know this situation is challenging for all involved. We are vigilantly monitoring and acting upon advice from top experts at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Pet parents are understandably concerned about respiratory virus transmission. As of today, the nation’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received zero reports of pets or other animals showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19, nor does the CDC believe that animals can spread this disease to people.
  • The CDC strongly advises sick people and pets to self-quarantine, to wash hands thoroughly, and use a “social distancing” strategy to keep pets and people well.
  • Mitigation: Wellness and cleanliness are part of our company’s culture. As of this writing, we have not received any reports of Best Friends Pet Hotel employees showing signs or symptoms of the virus and are enforcing all health and safety protocols already in place, such as increasing the frequency of our cleanings and making sure our teams are supported with all the supplies and information they need – and anyone who is not feeling well knows we will support them in their decision to stay home. In our grooming areas, play areas, and boarding areas, we will continue our stringent cleaning practices and use a disinfectant formulated to kill the coronavirus (and other viruses).

As an employee-owned company, our wonderful team of caregivers at 31 Best Friends Pet Hotel centers nationwide agree that our first priority is to both people and pets. We ask that you partner with us to closely monitor your own health – and the health of your pet and the pets in your care.

Working together, our team is taking all the health and safety precautions needed to ensure that we maintain our clean and safe pet care and the industry’s highest level of client satisfaction. Our collaboration in our collective health will make us stronger as move through this ever-changing situation. Please watch for updates on our website and thank you for your continued trust in Best Friends as your partner in pet care.

Best regards,
Jared Pinsker, CEO
Best Friends Pet Hotels
http://bestfriendspetcare.com