The time of year approaches for family gatherings, dinners, lots of decorations, and presents. By your side through all this are your pets, whether that be for good (comfort/support) or bad (mischief/theft). So why not give them something to do and something to learn.
At VCA Calvert Veterinary Center, we use the art of distraction to help with exams and treatments. Here are some that may help through the holidays.
- Food puzzles/slow feeders. These are great for getting your pets to slow down while eating and to give you some free time. They come in many forms. The more complicated they are, the longer it takes pets to get through. Remember, if it’s too difficult, they can become disinterested or destructive.
- Enzymatically treated rawhide dental chews. These are easily digestible and remove plaque and tartar while promoting fresh breath when brushing is not possible. They can take a while to work through and can give you the 10 to 15 minutes you need.
- Treat-dispensing toys. These allow small amounts of kibbles at a time to come out depending on how your pet grasps it or drops it. There are even mice to hide kibble in to allow cats to “hunt.”
We also love to be a part of the learning process.
- If your dog gets overly excited when guests enter, try to teach it to grab a toy at the sound of a door bell or go to their bed. This should teach them an appropriate behavior if their greeting to people is a little overzealous.
- Pheromone scents for dogs and cats are great for creating a sense of calm for the holidays. Try these around the holidays to help with any anxiety that this time of year creates.
- Old dogs and cats can learn new tricks, and sometimes these are a little easier than the old ones. Older pets have a harder time sitting and lying down. You can teach them to nose touch, ring a bell, or make a figure-eight between your legs. This also helps keep them mentally stimulated. Tell your guests about their new tricks and get everyone involved.
There are many ways to distract pets to help you get things done while involving the pets in the festivities of the holidays. Please make sure your pets are comfortable and safe. We would love it if you could share how your pets are involved in holiday festivities or what you do to distract them. Send us a story or picture on Facebook. You may have another tip that can help a nosy or bored pet. Happy holidays from VCA Calvert Veterinary Center.
The veterinarians of VCA Calvert Veterinary Center have over 35 years of combined experience helping pets stay healthy and happy. Call today at 410-360-PAWS for an appointment or schedule online from www.vcahospitals.com/calvert. VCA Calvert Veterinary Center is conveniently located at 4100 Mountain Road and has been proudly serving the Pasadena community for over 15 years.