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Cat wearing a santa hat

More than half (58%) of Canadian households own a pet. But, how many of those homes practice proper pet etiquette during the winter holidays? The shocking number of pets that go missing during the holiday season is one indicator. Unless you want to join that statistic, it's better to prepare now. Keeping your pet safe and happy should be a major priority for you. Are you unsure of what to consider before the holidays? Read on to learn what you should be doing to ensure you're a responsible pet owner and a lovely guest this winter.

Get a Check-Up First thing's first. If you plan on travelling with your pet, then you should bring your pet to the vet. Inform your veterinarian about your plans. Then, allow your pet to get a full physical and check-up. Your vet will verify if your pet is healthy enough to travel. They'll also check for any illnesses, injuries, or other concerns. Consider Chipping Your Pet No one wants to lose their pet over the holiday. Whether you're travelling or not, it's a good idea to consider getting your pet chipped. Pet microchips protect your pet in the event they ever get lost. The chip provides data like your name and contact information. Gather Up Your Pet's Supplies Never go on a holiday without bringing your pet's supplies or making arrangements. If you make this mistake, your pet will suffer, and your host's house too. That's the last thing you or your pet need. Make sure to consider food and water for the travel and other supplies depending on the pet. For cats, bring their litter box with your usual litter, so they have to adapt to one less factor. To finish, do not forget to bring toys; your pets need enough entertainment, so they are not tempted to entertain themselves with your host's furniture. Manage Your Pet's Anxieties Did you know that pets get anxiety, too? Whether you're going to a new place or you have new people coming to your home, keep that in mind. Your pet can't understand what you say, so they may have no idea what's happening, but they will likely pick up on your excitement, so expect that, too. If you are travelling, arrive a day or two before the big event so you can help your pet acclimatize to the environment before you get distracted by the rest of the guests. A good way to help your pet stay calm during the event is to feed them before your meal in another room, so they don't come begging at the table. Then give them a place to rest where they feel safe. Bring your cat's bed or favourite blanket and if your dog is crate trained, bring it too. This is not the moment to introduce a new crate if they are not trained for it. Think About What's Best for Your Baby 9 out of 10 Canadians celebrate the holidays, which means you and your family likely do, too. While it's important to consider your feelings, it's also crucial to think about your pet too. What's really best for your pet this holiday season? Will they enjoy travelling or having company in their home? Be honest with yourself. If you think boarding your pet would be better, then do it. Please don't force your pet into a situation they wouldn't like. Practice the Best Pet Etiquette This Winter Season Are you prepared to practice the best pet etiquette this holiday season? If you're following the tips above, then you sure are! If you haven't followed these tips, start considering them now. After all, owning a pet is a huge responsibility. It's not all comfort and cuddles! Are you and your pet ready for the holidays? Before you head out on your trip, let our animal experts ensure your baby is healthy enough to travel. Book an appointment with Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital now to schedule a check-up.

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