Warm Fuzzies: Holiday Pet Tips

We love the holidays, the chance to enjoy and cherish our loved ones. For many, pets are part of the family, and holiday travels can take some planning.

For other families, the holidays are the time to add new furry members to the fun. Either way, check out these tips to make holidays happy for you and your pets.

Tips on Adopting, from Alley Cats and Angels, alleycatsandangels.org  

Do your research: Different breeds have different behaviors. Understand the energy of your household, the size of pet you can handle, how much exercise you are able to provide it, and more.

You can even “foster to adopt” a pet via organizations like Alley Cats and Angels, to make sure a pet is a match for your family. 

Involve the family: Bring the whole family to meet the potential pet and gauge how they all interact.

“Choosing a pet is personal for most people and that is why it’s important to involve the whole family,” said Tia Hagnas, Alley Cats and Angels’ founder.

Also, interact with cats or dogs owned by friends prior to bringing home a pet, to make sure there are no allergy issues.

Financial responsibility: A budget must be set not only for the upfront cost of taking the pet home, but also for follow-up costs like veterinary check-ups, a training crate and pet obedience classes.

Keep in mind that your pets’ needs will include ongoing costs such as food, treats and chew toys, litter for cats, boarding costs, vaccinations, brushes, leashes, etc. You may also think about getting pet insurance to help manage the cost of veterinary care.

Traveling with Pets, from Camp Bow Wow, campbowwow.com  

1. Check airline requirements to see if your pet can travel in a carrier or must travel by freight. 

2. Let the pet get used to the carrier environment by placing him inside for a few minutes each day.

3. Feed your pet no less than five or six hours before flight time, and give him a drink of water no less than two hours before your flight, to prevent sickness during transition.

4. Find a pet-friendly hotel; remember most will not allow pets to be left in the room alone, so consider a nearby doggie day care facility if necessary.  

5. Make your pet feel at home by using familiar dishes, blankets and toys from home.

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