The holidays are a double-edged sword. Of course, they represent a wonderful time of year “when the world falls in love,” as the old Andy Williams Christmas song goes. They also, however, can be a period of intense stress and anxiety for us all. Beyond shopping, wrapping gifts, cooking and catering to guests you could probably live without seeing (much less cooking and caring for); there are the animals of every household to consider. At this time of year, their lives are often disrupted because their schedules and daily rhythms are suddenly altered due to other people in the house, different walking and feeding time, lack of attention, etc. They bear a special brunt for all of this because they cannot discuss their stress with us.
The advantage that our animals have over us is that they can go and hide under the bed if things on top of the covers get too noisy or stressful. Sometimes I wish I could do the same.
It is said the holidays are a bad time to introduce a new pet to a household because it is such an intense and busy time. (Find and read a copy of the poem, The Christmas Pup, if you can. It makes everything quite clear.) Too much activity is hard for an animal to process, especially when the scents and sights of the new home are not yet comforting and familiar.
Keep tinsel and poinsettias away from cats. They are highly poisonous and the animal whose life you save may well be your own. Watch those fancy ornaments too. Some of those floating ones may contain anti-freeze and if swallowed, can be very harmful to pets.
Be goods to your pets always, but be particularly sensitive to their needs this time of year. They do so much for their owners.
Do YOU have a holiday pet story to share? I would love to hear it.