Holidays With Pets: What New Pet Owners Need To Know

A cat amongst decorationsThere’s something special about sharing the holidays with pets, and for new pet owners this special first season spent with a new four-legged family member offers the chance to build new traditions and memories together.

Before you settle in for a snuggle in front of the fire with your sweet pet, take a moment to go over our tips for a safe and fun holiday season!

Planning And Preparation

Nobody expects to deal with a pet emergency during the holidays, but accidents can and do happen, and being prepared is always ideal. Before you head into this first holiday season with your new pet, gather your important phone numbers and program them into your phone if applicable, including:

  • Our number: +1 (916) 624-7387
  • ASPCA Poison Control Hotline (1-888-426-4435)
  • If you will be traveling with your pet, research 24/7 emergency veterinary hospitals in the area you will be staying and have those numbers on hand as well

If you plan on boarding your pet or finding a professional pet sitter to help while you are out of town over the holidays, now is the time to plan! Kennels and pet sitters schedules fill up quickly, so make arrangements for your pet’s holiday care as soon as possible.

Holidays With Pets: Safety First

Many of our common holiday foods can put pets at risk of poisoning or gastrointestinal distress. Make sure to keep chocolate, sweets and baked goods (especially those sweetened with Xylitol), onions, raisins and grapes, and other table scraps away from pets. Put leftovers away and take the trash out promptly to prevent scavenging.

Decorations are meaningful parts of the season for many families, just be sure to exercise caution when stringing those electric lights or positioning the glass tree ornaments. It’s also good to keep in mind that tinsil is not pet friendly either. Trees should be anchored to prevent them from tipping if investigated by a curious pet, and the water in the tree stand covered to prevent accidental ingestion of pesticides or additives to the water. Many holiday plants are also toxic to pets, and should be kept out of the home or out of reach.

The Dreaded Cabin Fever

We may not have much in the way of snow in Placer County, but chilly temps and ample rain can mean more indoor time for people and pets. Pets need daily exercise and fun to prevent boredom and destructive behavior, and the following ideas for indoor activities this holiday season:

  • Tug-of-war
  • Indoor obstacle course
  • Feather chase/laser pointer chase
  • Obedience training
  • Agility classes

Most dogs don’t mind a little rain, so don’t be afraid to grab your umbrella and get out for a neighborhood stroll!

Your team at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital hopes you have an amazing time with your new pet! If you have any further questions regarding holidays with pets, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.