7 tips for a stress-free holiday with your pet - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

7 tips for a stress-free holiday with your pet

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The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be stressful for everyone, including your pet. The countless parties, frequent house guests can add unnecessary pressure at a joyful time.

Pet expert Charlotte Reed joined Good Day Atlanta on Wednesday with tips to enjoy a stress-free holiday with your pet!

For more information, visit Charlotte Reed's official site!


1. Calm your pet!

If your normally calm dog gets fidgety whenever guests come over, treat him to a soothing peppermint paw massage before company arrives.  Warm 1 tsp. of food-grade peppermint oil (located in the supermarket's baking aisle) in the microwave for 30 seconds, and gently rub it into your pooch's paws. The fragrance of peppermint oil is invigorating and has a calming effect to relieve stress and tension when applied topically. As a result, your pooch will stay calm and quiet when guests arrive. It's safe for his skin and safe if he licks some off. Avoid using if your dog is pregnant.
2. Pet digestive problems are one of the top reasons pets visit the vet
The smell of the holiday meal can whip up your four-legged friend into a food frenzy, causing him to overturn or climb into the garbage bin.  Secure your garbage can at all times to prevent unwanted emergency visits and unnecessary expenses.

3. Keep your dog or cat away from the holiday tree
The presence of the holiday tree with its shiny ornaments can cause lots of feline and canine temptations. To prevent your pet from drinking the water or climbing on the tree, cover the water bowl with foil to prevent pet access. Additionally, fill a 3 oz. spray bottle with water and 5-7 drops of cinnamon oil and spray the base of the tree every three days.  Cats and dogs do not like the smell of cinnamon, so they will stay away from the tree.  The added perk is that your house will smell festive too!

4.  Healthy holiday Intake
During the holidays, we all have to watch what we eat, including our pets.  It's inevitable that holiday guests will sneak your furry friend a tidbit or two.  Your strategy is to keep overfeeding at bay by supplying health pet snacks for guests to feed and by cutting down on your pet's regular meals to avoid weight gain.
5. Control pesky parasites
To ensure your home is an inviting, comfortable and healthy place to sojourner for your holiday house guests, continue with your dog's flea and tick medication prior to the arrival of your guests. The number of generic, vet-quality flea and tick products on the market makes giving your pets flea and tick protection throughout the year economical and easy.
6. What do when you forget to purchase cat litter?
Potting soil makes for a great alternative to cat litter if you're in a pinch! It is soft on kitty paws and free of bugs.  If your pet engages inappropriate elimination, get to the store immediately for your pet's favorite brand.
7.  Quick clean for dirty dogs

Your stinky pooch could really use a bath before your holiday guests arrive.  To avoid a wet dog in the house, make a dry shampoo by combining 2 cups of cornstarch (to absorb oil), ½ cup of baking soda (to deodorize) and ½ cup of salt (to loosen dirt and debris). If you want, add a few drops of lavender oil to the mixture, then place your dog in the tub, sprinkle the mixture all over his coat and massage into his fur. 

Leave on for 10 minutes, massaging him and bribing him with healthy treats like carrots to keep him still.  Avoid getting mixture in his eyes and mouth.  Brush the dry shampoo from his coat and wash the mixture down the drain.  Dry shampoo can be used on cats but do not add the essential oils as it is harmful to them.

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