The festive break can bring a great time to bond with your pets, whether there are family members or friends coming together, or even if you are on your own. Here are some tips to make sure your pets enjoy this special time as much as you.
- Your pets will love the extra time you have at home and the fuss and play the holidays can bring, but also make sure there’s somewhere calm that they can take themselves off to for some peace and quiet. They really do appreciate eating and exercise to be as normal as possible. Set aside a quiet room for them and reassure them every once in a while.
- With smaller pets, for their health as well as encouraging them to socialise with you, regular grooming and stroking is recommended to ensure they become accustomed to handling and socialising with people. This means you will also be able to carry out a regular health check. As rabbits are naturally a prey animal you will need a quiet and calm approach to build the trust needed to make your rabbit welcome you and allow it to be handled without stress. As well as the bond between you and your pet, rabbits and guinea pigs are very sociable creatures, and like to live in pairs or compatible groups so they can benefit from constant companionship all year round.
- Why not blow away the cobwebs and help the heavy festive head and full tum with a walk with friends? It’s a great way for you and your dog to get some much needed exercise, canine companionship and fresh air.
- Don’t forget it’s cold outside. All pets need special attention when the weather turns colder. For smaller pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs, housing needs must be carefully considered to ensure that they are warm and have access to the food and water they require no matter what the weather. Don’t let your dog walk on an icy pond – the ice may look solid but it may not be. The cold weather can also make conditions such as arthritis worse in our pets as well as ourselves: talk to your vet as there are treatments available to help.
Keeping an eye on any changes in your pet’s behaviour is a must all year round, for example changes in their eating and drinking habits, sleeping habits and weight. When lifestyle changes such as the Christmas holidays occur and your pet’s normal routine changes, keeping a closer eye than usual is key, just to make sure all is well.