The Holidays, a wonderful time of the year; if you aren’t including the endless lines, numerous cuts from wrapping paper, headaches, and the inevitable music of the “return line” after the holidays. What happens to your furry, feathered, or scaled companion when chaos reigns down on their lives? Humans have a tendency to forget that animals can also feel their emotions and sense when their human counterpart is stressed. They can also be resentful that they are no longer the center of attention in their human’s life.
How does one try to balance out the hectic holiday rush and spend time with their beloved pet? Very easy, a pet doesn’t ask for a lot and contrary to what some may believe they do have emotions. While some pets can be more sensitive to their owner not paying attention to them others will see it as a mere inconvenience. There’s several things you can do (other than your usual ritual of feeding, cleaning, watering and brushing) to ease the loneliness of your pet.
1. If you’re stressed who better to hear your woes than your pet. Talk to them, tell them everything from the jerk that cut you off or the person that took the last cd you wanted. It may seem silly but your pet will never judge you.
2. If you have a dog, a quick play session outside or a quick walk will both ease some pent up energy and will provide some quality bonding time. If you are unable to walk then some quality time outside tossing a ball or playing with them and their favorite toy.
3. For cat owners, most cats just want to be fed and have the occasional affection provided to them. Brush your cat, pet it more; give it some cat grass or cat nip (this also aids in digestion) and play with it. Cats are simple in the sense that sometimes all it takes is a piece of string, box or paper bag to make them happy.
4. For other types of pets, just spend some time talking to them give them special little treats to show they aren’t being neglected. If they can be held, hold them for a little bit and just relax with your pet.
5. For bird owners sometimes you are limited and this depends on the disposition of your bird. When you are wrapping gifts have the bird sit with you or bring their cage to the area if you can put some music on and just bond with your feathered friend by singing or talking to it as you’re wrapping gifts.
The holidays are stressful for everyone no matter what people may say, and this includes the family pet. One last note for the holidays, if you are thinking of getting a new family member research the type of pet you are getting and make sure it is what you want, so many pets end up in shelters after the holidays because they sometimes end up not being what the owners thought or they were an “unwanted gift”. Give a donation to a local shelter or to the WWF in someone’s name and save getting a new family until after Christmas.