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Holidays With Senior Pets

November 15 2023

Thanksgiving is just a few weeks out, and the winter holidays will be right behind it. Stores are already putting out holiday decorations. (We’ll leave the debate about whether it’s too soon or not to others.) Our furry friends often pay close attention to seasonal preparations, such as cooking, decorating, and wrapping gifts. If your dog or cat is a senior, you may want to take a few precautions to keep them safe. An Aurora CO veterinarian offers some advice on spending the holidays with older animals in this article.

Avoid Fatty Foods

There’s nothing wrong with giving your furry pal a special holiday treat. However, older pets often have quite sensitive stomachs. Rich or fatty foods can easily upset those furry tummies. Only offer Fido and Fluffy safe, nutritious treats. Also, be careful not to offer anything unsafe, such as grapes, raisins, meat on the bone, chocolate, and avocado. If you’re having company, ask your visitors not to give your pet anything without first checking with you. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Minimize Schedule Disruptions

Most pets do best when they are kept on a pretty set schedule for things like meals, walks, and playtime. The holidays can of course throw anyone’s agenda out of whack. Try to avoid upsetting Fido and Fluffy’s routine. 

Offer Quiet Places

Having company? Some pets get quite nervous when there’s a lot of commotion. If your furry friend is shy, offer them a quiet, comfy spot where they can nap through the festivities. If you’re hosting a party, set them up in a quiet back room with food, toys, bedding, treats, and, in Fluffy’s case, a litterbox. Leave a radio on for background noise.

Shop Carefully

It’s not hard to find gift ideas for pets these days. Toys and treats are still good options, but for older pets, you’ll want to look for comfort items, such as soft beds.

Consider Boarding

Are you headed out of town for the holidays? You may want to consider bringing Fido or Fluffy to a kennel, or hiring a petsitter. Travel can be very stressful for dogs and cats in their golden years!

Take Extra Pictures

Unfortunately, the time we have to spend with our beloved furry friends often passes much too quickly. Take extra photos of your four-legged retiree, and cherish this special time you have with them.  

Happy Holidays! Please contact us, your local Aurora, CO animal clinic, with any questions or concerns about your senior pet’s health or care.

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