By Barbara Paulic
There is not much that I find more amusing than watching my cats tear through a pile of discarded Christmas wrapping paper – hiding, jumping, playing and generally enjoying life in what can be the busiest time of year.
Their tails twitch and their eyes are bright and alert while they are engaged in something new, something exciting, and it gives me an excuse to put off cleaning up for just a little bit longer.
When organizing all of the activities you will be doing this holiday season, remember to include your pets in your plans. Pets can enjoy the holidays as much as people do. They love getting a new toy, new bed, extra play attention on Christmas morning, a comfy new lap to occupy while grandma and grandpa visit, maybe even a few extra treats for the special occasion. Who knows, maybe they can even get their picture taken with Santa.
The joy that you see in your pet’s behaviour, and the memories you make is also a treat for you and your family. They are a member of your house and deserve to be included in all the fun and games.
In all of the excitement that comes with decorating and participating in the festivities, keep in mind that pets don’t mix well with tinsel and ribbon. Dogs and cats that chew on and/or swallow pieces of tinsel and ribbon may develop some serious health issues.
Chocolate should be kept away from dogs as it can make them very ill.
The tree is a novelty that pets may not know how to react to. Keep a good eye on them and everything should turn out just fine.
Also, don’t forget that you are not the only one to feel the stress of the season. Pets can sometimes become overwhelmed with all of the hustle and bustle and may need some time out to help keep them calm.
Your pet can provide you with a welcome relief from all of the mayhem. When emotions are running high or your batteries are running low, use Fido or Fluffy as an excuse to get away for a little while. Take your dog for a walk so that you both have time to clear your head, or sit down to a cup of tea with your cat and just enjoy a few minutes of rest and relaxation. You deserve the break, and your pet will appreciate the attention and quiet time.
Above all, enjoy the season with your family and friends, furry or otherwise.
Barbara Paulic is a volunteer at Katie’s Place animal shelter.