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5 ways to keep your pet healthy and happy during the holidays

The season just got a whole lot more festive for your fur ball.

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The holiday season can be exhausting, and even more so when you’re a pet owner. There’s so much to think about — from keeping your furry ones safe during festivities to maintaining a healthy diet. Thankfully, there are a few key ways to help your pet live their best life during these busy months.

1. Have holiday treats on hand to resist table food temptation.

It can be tempting to let your pet snack on the delicious goodies you serve throughout the season. Unfortunately, some human food may disagree with your pet’s stomach. Treats with chocolate, for instance, contain methylxanthines that can cause side effects like vomiting, diarrhea and hyperactivity. Other culprits include macadamia nuts –a trigger for weakness and vomiting – and raisins, which can lead to kidney failure.

Consider feeding your furry one holiday-themed pet food instead — still delicious but more pet-friendly.

A few festive options:

Blue buffalo holiday santa snacks oatmeal
Blue buffalo holiday santa snacks oatmeal

Chewy

Friskies party mix natural yums pumpkin
Friskies party mix natural yums pumpkin

Chewy

Wellness kittles grain-free turkey & cranberries recipe crunchy cat treats
Wellness kittles grain-free turkey & cranberries recipe crunchy cat treats

Chewy

Blue dog bakery doggie paws gingerbread flavor dog treats
Blue dog bakery doggie paws gingerbread flavor dog treats

Chewy

2. Give your pet a safe space to get away from the party.

If you throw a holiday bash, make sure your pet has a spot to safely hang out. This is particularly helpful for pets who struggle with separation anxiety. Ahead of the party, make sure your pup or cat has an established spot where they feel safe and comfortable. “It’s essential to teach them to spend time on their own,” Veterinarian Dr. Katrina Warren noted in a Finder article with tips for pet separation anxiety. “A playpen or crate can help keep them secure when you’re not in the same room to supervise them.”

Looking for the perfect chill spot? Dr. Warren suggests purchasing a walled bed, which allows pets to feel more at ease. Shop comfortable (and festive!) options that will keep your furry friend comfy while you socialize.

Frisco Snowflake Dog & Cat Bed & Gift Set
Frisco Snowflake Dog & Cat Bed & Gift Set

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K&H Pet Products Outdoor Heated Holiday Gingerbread Cat House
K&H Pet Products Outdoor Heated Holiday Gingerbread Cat House

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Frisco santa deep dish bolster cat & dog bed
Frisco santa deep dish bolster cat & dog bed

Chewy

Frisco holiday dog & cat christmas tree cave bed
Frisco holiday dog & cat christmas tree cave bed

Chewy

3. Buy quality toys that last well past the holidays.

Toys can be fun for your pet and beneficial for you. The more your pup or cat is distracted by their latest squeeze toy, the less likely they are to play with other items around the house – like your nice shoes or your most valuable glass vase. A new chew toy can keep them entertained while you entertain your guests.

Other benefits? Toys keep your pets stimulated and provide much-needed comfort if they struggle with anxiety — a potential problem for pets who are used to spending a lot of time with their owners.

Treat your pet to some holiday toys that will last them all year round. We picked out some festive ones below:

KONG Holiday Cozie Reindeer Dog Toy
KONG Holiday Cozie Reindeer Dog Toy

Chewy

Frisco Holiday 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar with Toys for Cats
Frisco Holiday 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar with Toys for Cats

Chewy

Multipet Holiday Lamb Chop Plush Dog Toy
Multipet Holiday Lamb Chop Plush Dog Toy

Chewy

4. Pet-proof your home.

You need to take extra care to keep your home safe for your pets amid holiday decor and gatherings.

  • Wait a few days to hang ornaments on your tree after putting it up. Give your pet a little time to get used to the new addition to the room — perhaps then they won’t be as eager to play with it once you’ve decorated.
  • Tuck your tree into a corner of your home and then securely anchor to the ground. This helps prevent your pet from accidentally tipping it over.
  • Be mindful of lit candles around the house. Pets can easily knock them over.
  • Put guests’ shoes and belongings in a locked room so your pet won’t try to take a bite.
  • Be careful about what plants you decorate your house with. Some could be toxic to your pets.

Here’s a list of plants to avoid:

  • Aloe
  • American Yew
  • American Holly
  • Amaryllis
  • Adam-and-Eve
  • Bird of Paradise Flower
  • Butterfly Iris
  • Charming Dieffenbachia

And be wary of holiday-classic poinsettias. Considered mildly toxic to animals, they can cause digestive upset if your pet ingests their leaves, according to the Pet Poison Helpline.

Need something to protect your furniture from scratches and bites? Check out our short video where we demo the best gadgets that Chewy has for pet-proofing your home:

5. Stock up on healthy foods and have them delivered to your door.

Don’t have time to go shopping for quality pet food in-person? Have meals shipped to your door. If you’re looking for a straightforward delivery experience, Chewy offers Autoship, which allows you to choose the frequency of how often your pet’s food products arrive. Easily adjust, cancel or reschedule the shipments any time.

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When it comes to picking out healthy treats for your dog, look for brands that offer plenty of nutritious ingredients. Purina Pro Plan, for instance, is packed with omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin A. American Journey Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe is another great high-protein option.

Need to pick out healthy treats for your cats? Look for meat-based products for extra protein, like the Fancy Food Poultry & Beef Classic Pate, which mixes tender beef, chicken and turkey.

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