Over 71 million Americans include some kind of pet as part of their family.
According to a recent survey conducted by PetSmart, 72 percent of America’s pet owners will be including the family pets in their holiday celebrating.
“The holidays are about being with our loved ones – and that includes our pets, too,” said PetSmart Veterinarian and Pet Care Expert Dr. Robyn Jaynes. “Whether it’s including your pet in a family photo, taking them on a family trip or giving that perfect holiday gift or treat, it’s important for pet parents to consider the unique behaviors of each and every pet.”
PetSmart offers these tips for making the holidays the best they can be with your furry friends in the house:
- Make sure you take precautions for any decorating item that might be interesting to your pets – extension cords, low-hanging small ornaments or tinsel on the tree and the tree itself can be especially interesting. Tape down cords. Keep small shiny ornaments high and secure the tree so it won’t tip over.
- If you are planning travel, consider the best way to care for your pet. If you decide to board your pet, make sure you choose a facility that is clean and comfortable. If you are taking your pet with you, check out this website to find a place that welcomes four-legged friends: www.petswelcome.com. If you are road tripping, check out pet products to help secure your pet and keep him comfortable while in the car.
- If you decide to have your pet’s picture taken with Santa, make sure they have a bath, are comfortable with those funny reindeer antlers beforehand and bring a favorite chew toy to help keep them busy while waiting in the line for the picture. To find a good place to have your pet’s picture taken with Santa Claws, check out PetSmart’s website here: www.petsmart.com.
- If you are planning for a houseful of guests in the next couple of week, make sure you keep your pet in mind. The noise and activity of more people who may be unfamiliar can lead to stress so give you pet a quiet place to retreat. Table scraps are not recommended even though you might think of it as a special treat. Your pet’s digestive system is not used to this kind of food. Also remember the cold if you decide to put your pet out during your company’s visit – consider a sweater for short-haired dogs.
Here are some fantastic gift ideas for your pet, provided by PetSmart. This year’s must-have gifts are:
- Chance and Lucky – The adorable holiday collection includes stuffed animals, ornaments, slippers, boxed cards or gift cards which are perfect to celebrate the holiday season and support a good cause, too. Ten percent of all purchases will be donated to PetSmart Charities to save the lives of homeless pets. The collection ranges from $5 to $20.
- Fisher-Price – Inspired by classic Fisher-Price icons, the whimsical toys for dogs feature items such as the Xylobone, Chatter Pup Telebone and Ruff-a-Stack. Available in two sizes – small ($7.99) and large ($11.99).
- Martha Stewart Holiday Collection – The holiday Nordic Fair Isle sweater from the exclusive Martha Stewart Pets collection keeps your four-legged family members cozy during the cold winter months. Available for just $19.99.
- Stockings for Dogs and Cats – PetSmart’s classic holiday value pack stockings are filled with an assortment of toys for cats and dogs. Pet parents can pick a theme that matches their pet’s personality, such as the merry pink gingerbread-man or the classic red and green reindeer. Price ranges from $4.99 to $19.99.