10 Tips for Holiday Planning with Pets in Mind
Keep the holiday season stress-free for your pet by planning ahead of time!Published November 15, 2012
Flickr User bnilsen
The holiday season can be hectic and overwhelming at times, especially if you have a pet. If you think about your furry friend and start holiday planning in advance, you can have a pet safe and enjoyable season. Follow these tips to get and stay organized.
1. Schedule grooming appointments.
Holiday grooming is in high demand; people planning holiday parties or family gatherings naturally want their animal to look their best for the occasion. If you would like to have a clean pet for Thanksgiving, Chanukah or Christmas, book appointments as soon as you can.
2. Don’t forget to buy pet food and/or litter.
During this time of year, it's not unusual if you've become so preoccupied with your holiday planning that you realize your pet's brand of food or litter didn't make the list when you return from the supermarket. To keep your pet on his regular diet or your cat in her litter box, especially at the busiest time of the year, consider online pet food and litter shopping. Auto-shipping is a service that allows pet owners to set up delivery of their preferred food or litter brand on a regular schedule. Auto-shipping also means regular delivery and delivery flexibility.
3. Keep your pet on his regular schedule.
The holiday season brings distractions that can upset your pet’s routine. Divide up pet responsibility amongst family members or hire help to keep Fido or Fluffy on their regular routines.
4. Have information available at your finger tips.
During the holidays, we can be become busy and, in some cases, become careless. As a result, accidents, like your pet managing to escape your home or your pet eating something unhealthy for them, can happen. In these cases, it's best to be prepared ahead of time. Make sure your pet is wearing updated pet ID with your cell phone number. If your pet is micro-chipped, update your contact information with the service. And lastly, have your vet’s contact information nearby. This is especially important if you are traveling with your pet for the holidays.
5. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are for pets, too!
Check with your favorite dog and cat brands and or pet stores and see if they are having Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday sales. Shopping on the Internet is convenient, quick and largely secure. Moreover, pet owners can save time and money. Whether you shop from home or venture to the stores, just make sure you have a good understanding of the return policy.
6. Create a calming pet retreat to ease holiday-oriented anxiety.
If you are having friends over for the holidays, create a quiet retreat in your home so your dog or cat can be away from all the holiday hub-bub. Have an enclosure, bed and soft music set up in the quietest part of your home. This will ensure your pet is not fed by guests, won't slip out the door, disturb your holiday festivities and be able to have a time out when he wants
7. If you're traveling for the holidays without your pet, book a boarding facility now!
If you haven’t done so, arrange for your pet’s stay at a boarding kennel or with your pet sitter. Ask for a multiple pet discount if you have more than one pet. Also, confirm instructions and updated vaccines. If your furry friend needs to have updated vaccinations, take him to the vet as soon as possible to ensure a convenient appointment.
8. Travel updates can make a trip stressful, so try staying ahead of the curve whenever possible.
Never rely on travel agents, a pet or travel website or others. Review airline websites (some have pet sections) and speak to airline customer service representatives when booking airline and pet friendly hotel travel arrangements with an animal. Hotel policies as well as airline equipment change frequently, and you don’t want to be stressed at the gate or when you arrive at your accommodations. If your pet is flying in the cabin of a plane with you, check the dimensions of the seat to make sure your pet’s carrier can fit under it. Also, check with airline customer care the day before heading to the airport to confirm that the plane model did not change and your carrier will still fit under the seat. For pets traveling as baggage or cargo, inform the first class stewardess that your pet is to be on board and ask her to check with the pilot that your dog is on the plane prior to take-off. He can radio the ground to confirm your pet is on board.
9. Another holiday travel tip: AAA is pet-friendly.
If you are traveling by car, outfit the vehicle with bench covers and pet safety equipment. Rely on AAA to arrange your road trip with pet rest stops so your dog can eliminate every three to four hours.
10. Well-behaved pets are always a pleasure to be around.
If your pet is not well-behaved, don’t bring him to a family or friend’s home for the holidays. Make other arrangements during your holiday planning period: either with a kennel or pet sitter in your home town or near your friend or family’s house so that you can visit him during the holiday season.
Were these holiday planning tips helpful? How do you plan for the holidays with your pet in mind? Tell us in a comment.