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Holidays With Shelter Pets

December 15, 2022
Have you recently adopted a shelter pet? Congratulations! We love seeing people give dogs and cats second chances, and providing homeless pets with the love, care, and attention they need. However, this can be a stressful time of year for Fido and Fluffy. The hustle and bustle of the holidays can be tough on any dog or cat, but for one that’s just settling in, it can really be a lot. A Washington DC veterinarian offers some advice on this below.

Petproof Carefully

Petproofing is a must, especially around the holidays. Your new pal may have quirks and habits you don’t know about yet … such as a penchant for chewing lights or eating gifts. Anything small or sharp is a potential hazard, as are ribbons, garlands, tinsel, and other stringy items. Candles and fireplaces are also unsafe, as are many seasonal plants. Ask your vet for more information.

Beware Of Stresses

Many shelter pets have been through traumatic experiences. These things can leave both physical and emotional scars on animals, just as they can with people. It may take your furry pal time to settle into a new place. Even if Fido or Fluffy seems to be adjusting just fine, they could backslide if something frightens them.  Pay extra attention to your new buddy if you’re having guests over. New Year’s Eve can get pretty loud, which may scare Fido and Fluffy. Offer them a quiet spot, where they can relax and feel safe. A crate may work for a dog, but if your canine pal seems frightened of his, don’t force it. A quiet back room or utility room will do fine. Offer comfy bedding, toys, and treats, and put a radio or TV on to mask the noise.


Go a little crazy with the toys and gifts this year. Treats are fine too, but choose healthy options, and don’t go overboard. Beds, grooming supplies, supplements, and pet fountains are also ‘pawesome’ choices.


Carve some time out for enjoying quiet time with Fido and Fluffy. Pet them, play with them, and just talk to them. Remember to get lots of pictures of your furry friend’s first holiday season with you! Purrs and tail wags really are precious gifts.  All of us here at Brentwood Animal Hospital, your Washington DC veterinary clinic, want to wish you a wonderful holiday season. Contact us anytime!

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