(New Mexico News Connection) Whether your pet is shy or outgoing, keeping them happy and healthy during the busy holidays can be a challenge.
Your curious cat might view a tree adorned with ornaments as a new toy, so make sure it's securely anchored. Dogs, on the other hand, like to chew on things and won't know seasonal plants such as evergreens and poinsettias are toxic.
Desiree Cawley, marketing manager for One Albuquerque Animal Welfare, said if guests are coming or parties planned, it's best to prepare much like pet owners do for the Fourth of July.
"Keep them in a bedroom, give them their favorite toy, have a TV going, so it muffles the sounds outside, so then they're not feeling overwhelmed when you have a lot of people in your house that they don't know," Cawley suggested.
In addition to taking it easy on scraps from the table, Cawley reminds pet owners to be mindful of what gifts are under the Christmas tree, especially if there is no indication as to what's inside.
"They may be cookies, they may be candy," Cawley pointed out. "And of course, dogs have a good sniffer, and so they might think that would be a good present to open for themselves."
Cawley also noted pets appreciate sticking to their routine as much as possible.
"And so, when it gets changed, you have to be a little more understanding," Cawley urged. "Reassure them that everything is OK, and maybe love them a little extra."
If your pet will be boarded for the holidays, Cawley emphasized they might be overwhelmed by all the different smells in a kennel, and recommends bringing an item for them to snuggle.
"Make sure you give them the dog's blanket, favorite toy, their bed," Cawley recommended. "So they have that sense of smell, so if they have something like a security blanket kind of thing, would be ideal."