New Year Tips
The holidays are an exciting time for us humans. We have family gatherings, meeting up with old friends, and decorations to celebrate the season. However, it can be a stressful time for our pets who aren’t used to the noise. The loud noises from fireworks, the hustle and bustle of people coming in and out of your home can traumatize your cat or dog. Here are a few tips to help you and your pet enjoy the festive holiday season:
Desensitize your dog and your cat. One of the best things you can do to make your pets accustomed to the natural noises, smells and sights of everyday life.
Dogs: For dogs, gradually introduce them to unfamiliar faces and places. Taking your dog on an adventure to the dog park, taking them on a walk in a new area or bringing them around unfamiliar people will allow the dog to experience various stimuli and become more comfortable and confident with change. Many dogs tend to become fearful of loud noises. Depending on your dog’s personality they can react different ways, by running away or lashing out by biting. If your dog is reacting to loud noises, talk in a calm minor, comfort them with petting and their favourite toy. If the dog remains calm praise them and reward their behaviour.
Cats: Desensitizing cats can be more difficult but just as important as desensitizing a dog. Most cats that are kept indoors are not exposed to vast amount of stimuli. It is important to start with less threatening stimuli such as balls, bells and whistles. It is important that the cat is comfortable with these noises before taking it to the next step. Gradually increase the stimuli with loud talking, tv noises and having people over to your house. As you expose your cat to the stimuli it is important that they are not running and hiding, you can leash a cat or put them in a crate but do not push them past what they are comfortable. Cats are adaptable and can overcome their fear in a short amount of time. It is important to start desensitizing your cat well before New Year’s so they have time to get accustomed to loud noises.
New Year Resolutions for You and Your Pet
10- Measure Your Pet’s Food-Every Time!
-make sure to measure your pets food with a 8-ounce cup, if you are unsure of how much to feed your pet start with the back of the bag instructions or contact your vet
9- Choose an Age-Appropriate Diet
-pets require different nutrients depending on what life stage they are in, make sure your pet is eating the appropriate diet
8- Make a Date with Your Vet
-it is important to get yearly examinations by your veterinarian. Prevention is the best medicine and early detection of a disease is crucial for a good prognosis. You can also make sure you are feeding the right diet and make any lifestyle changes to help your pet live a healthy and happy life
7- Incorporate (More) Playtime into Your Routine
-cats love chasing and playing. Anything that triggers a cat’s predatory instinct are a great way to help get them active
6- Try a New Activity with Your Pet
-find a new way to get outside and get active! You can do some hiking around the Bruce Trail, take your pet down to the lake or find a group of like minded pet owners
5-Groom Your Pet Daily
-It is important to groom your pet daily, it can help remove excess fur, and distributes oils from the skin to the fur. Grooming can also help you strengthen you and your pets bond.
4- Practice Good Oral Hygiene Habits with Your Pet
-Brushing your pet’s teeth is important to help keep tartar and plaque at minimum-just be sure to use a toothpaste that is meant for dogs and cats.
3-Teach an Old Dog a New Trick
-mental stimulation is as important as physical stimulation. Teaching your pets new tricks and practicing those they already know are great way to keep those neurons firing.
2- Update Pet ID Info
-make sure that if you have moved in the last year or plan to move in the upcoming year to update all of your pets tags and files
-Fostering is a great option to if you are unsure if you would like to add another pet. There are plenty of pets that need homes or go-between homes. It’s the perfect way to test if you and a new pet are the right fit.