Celebrating holidays with your pets – Part 1

Holiday greeting cards personalized with family photos in festive settings are a nice way to extend joyful wishes. It’s an ideal time to wear sweaters made by loved ones. For many, it’s the only time to wear sweaters made by loved ones. Including pets in the photos is a nice touch. You may even opt to put little antlers on your pet’s head for the photo. Dogs play along with this but if you try to get a cat to wear antlers, you’ll need makeup to hide the scratches. Try to put a cat in a sweater your aunt made and you may need first aid.

You may have mistletoe hanging to encourage people to share holiday kisses. Your pets might take part too although dogs are more likely to join in than cats, unless you rub yourself down with salmon oil. You may receive a shy peck-on-the-cheek from a Pekinese or a flying French kiss from a rowdy Rottweiller. Hopefully your dog won’t choose the moment to check inseams.

Holiday baking is of little interest to cats. On the other hand many dogs have been known to like sweets. You haven’t observed holiday spirit till you’ve seen a Chihuahua snoring off the effect of eating half his own weight in rum balls. Sweet dreams, Pedro.

If you’re a cat, the truly magical thing about the holidays is that there will be a deliciously roasted turkey that’s as big as you are. Any cat who’s been left unattended in a kitchen with a stuffed turkey and gravy will find it hard to go back to tiny dry animal byproducts compressed into kibble bits.

Decorative holiday town scenes with little general stores and townspeople offer your cat an opportunity to act out any Godzilla fantasy he’s been nurturing. In a house with a holiday tree, the cat may sleep under it in the belief that he’s camping. And if you turn the tree lights on, your cat can pretend he’s camping in Las Vegas. By the way, a puppy doesn’t need to believe in Santa Claus, but he should believe that the tree is not a part of his housetraining.

It must be confusing for a pet to watch an entire family opening holiday presents and covering the floor with discarded shreds of gift-wrap. After all, this is precisely the sort of behavior that would normally get him in trouble. You may enjoy watching him frolic in the paper and even get caught up in the moment and encourage him. Just remember that you endorsed it when he finds the same holiday spirit just a few weeks from now as you’re sorting your income tax receipts.

Thinking ahead about New Year’s resolutions? What would your cat do differently for the New Year? Maybe she’d resolve to not loosing any more toy mice under the sofa. Or this would be the year that she didn’t groom herself at 3 AM on your pillow. What would your dog do for a resolution? Perhaps this is the year he makes the mental distinction between living room furniture and track and field hurtles. Or maybe he’s done his last full body grooming in mixed company.

Some households keep the faith in Santa Claus alive by encouraging children to write letters to Santa. Parents will also suggest that their kids should leave out cookies for him. Dogs are only too happy to perpetuate the illusion that “Santa was here” by removing these treats by morning. If you want your cat to play Santa in this way, substitute tuna pate for the cookies.

Pets enjoy the holidays, and having them close by over the festive season is a “good thing.” Some say because socializing with our animals is excellent practice for getting together with in-laws

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