The holidays are here, and who better to celebrate with than the one who always gives you unconditional love, support, and snuggles? Show your pet how much you care with a holiday season of adventure, companionship, and special treats. If you’re short on ideas, look no further—this list compiled by our Greenfield Veterinary Clinic team offers four suggestions for celebrating with your pet this holiday season. 

#1: A winter wonderland walk with your pet

Stepping outside after a fresh snow is magical. The crisp air awakens your senses, the silence invites you to be present in the moment, and the glimmering light from the snow reminds you of nature’s beauty. OK—your pet may not experience the same mindful awakening, but you can bet they will have an awakening of their own as they run and jump in the soft blanket of snow.

First, check the temperature before heading out to ensure it’s not too cold for your pet. Small and thin-coated pets may need a jacket’s added layer of warmth. Also, winter conditions can be hard on your pet’s paws, because ice particles and snow can collect between their toes, and road salts and deicers can be toxic for pets if ingested. Protect your pet’s paws from ice, snow, and chemicals with booties for their feet. Most pets need time to get used to wearing booties, but their protection and warmth are well worth the adjustment period. Prepare your pet—let them wear the booties in the house first, while giving plenty of praise and treats. 

#2: Wrap a present for your pet

Most pets love opening a present more than what’s inside—after all, what’s more fun than ripping something open and tearing it to shreds? Sure, kids opening their presents are cute, but they’ve got nothing on an excited pet who scratches at the wrapping paper as if their life depends on it, astonished by their good fortune, and determined to find what’s inside. You do not need to spend tons of money on your pet’s present, because they do not care about the latest trends or brand names. Choose a durable chew toy or interactive toy that will entertain your pet throughout the family gift-opening. And, don’t be offended if your cat prefers the gift box more than their gift.

#3: Set up a playdate for your pet

The holidays are for celebrations with friends, so consider a play date with furry pals for your pet. If you know your pet enjoys socializing—remember, not all pets like mingling—call your friends and invite them to join you and your pet on a winter walk, or to play together in a fenced yard. You can take your pet to doggy daycare to play and expend energy, while you use the time to finish last-minute holiday errands, knowing your pet is in good hands and having the time of their life. Your pet will be exhausted, and you can spend a relaxing evening together. 

#4: Give your pet a spa day

Give your pet an at-home spa treatment—you are not the only one who likes to look and feel their best. You can use a licensed groomer, but an at-home version is more affordable, and you can spend quality time pampering your pet. Possible at-home spa treatments for your pet include:

  • Brushing their coat — Brushing your pet regularly keeps their coat shiny, cuts down on shedding, removes mats, distributes natural skin oils, and helps keep your pet generally healthy. Choose the right brush for your pet’s coat and, if necessary, carefully trim any long hair around their face and eyes with scissors and a comb. 
  • Giving them a massage — You don’t need to be a professional masseuse—simply find a quiet place in your home, turn on relaxing music, and have your pet lie in a comfortable position while you rub their body in gentle, slow, circular motions. Your pet will enjoy the physical relaxation, and you will strengthen the bond you share. 
  • Brushing their teethMany pets have tartar and plaque buildup, which can cause a variety of health issues. Manage your pet’s dental health by brushing their teeth with a pet-friendly toothpaste and toothbrush, finishing off with approved-for-pets dental treats to freshen their breath.

One more important gift—give your pet the gift of preventive care with regular wellness examinations and vaccinations to prevent disease, or to catch and treat disease early, and prolong your pet’s life. Contact our Greenfield Veterinary Clinic team to schedule your pet’s next wellness exam.