The holiday season means finding ways to celebrate all our loved ones, including our pets. While your dog or cat won’t want a Starbucks gift card, you can show how much you love them in many more appropriate ways. Our team at Alpine Animal Hospital has put together a list of ideas to celebrate the holidays with your pet. 

#1: Pamper your pet with a spa day

Everyone likes to look and feel their best, including your pet. Pamper them this holiday season with a personal spa day in the comfort of their own home. 

  • Get them moving — Before you begin your pet’s spa treatment, give them a good workout to release excess energy and ensure they feel calm and relaxed. 
  • Run them a bath While pets don’t need to bathe as often as people, they do need an occasional bath, which can leave them feeling—and smelling—fresh. Use lukewarm water and a pet-friendly shampoo, thoroughly rinse their coat, towel-dry them, and reward them with plenty of praise and treats. 
  • Brush your pet — Brushing your pet regularly not only keeps their coat looking good, but also helps release dead hair, cuts down on excess shedding, removes mats, and distributes the natural skin oils and helps keep your pet healthy. The fur will likely fly as you brush your pet, so first choose an appropriate spot. Then, use a brush based on your pet’s coat, and scissors and a comb to carefully trim long hairs around their face and eyes, if necessary.
  • Massage their full body — You know how good a massage feels when you have a sore back or stiff shoulders, and your pet will also enjoy receiving a relaxing massage, which not only provides physical benefits, but also strengthens your bond with your pet. You don’t need to be a professional masseuse to melt your pet’s stress and relax their muscles—simply rub your pet’s body in gentle, slow, circular motions. 

We all need a little TLC and pampering from time to time, and an at-home spa day is a simple, inexpensive way to celebrate your pet. Of course, you can always enlist the help of a professional grooming service—but remember to make an early reservation, because appointments for these services fill up quickly this time of year. 

#2: Upgrade your pet’s bed for complete comfort

Your pet spends much of their day sleeping, so take their power naps to the next level with a new bed. Pet beds have come a long way, and some now rival the comfort of a high-end human mattress. If your pet’s current bed has lost its shape or plushness, consider an upgrade this holiday season. Orthopedic pet beds are designed to provide support while cushioning your pet’s bony joints—especially the hips, knees, and elbows. A heated bed or insert can ease joint and muscle pain, and are especially helpful for older, arthritic pets. Quality sleep supports your pet’s comfort and overall health and shows how much you care. 

#3: Delight your pet’s taste buds with a festive treat

If you enjoy holiday baking, you can whip up a special treat for your pet. Look for healthy pet recipes online, and consult your veterinarian or an accredited veterinary resource to confirm whether a recipe contains ingredients safe for your pet. 

#4: Keep your pet warm with a cozy holiday sweater

Your pet may have their own fur coat, but that is not always enough protection from winter’s cold temperatures. Keep your pet cozy, warm—and fashionable—with a holiday pet sweater. Take care to ensure that the sweater or coat is a good fit, and easy to get on and off. If you’re feeling extra festive, get yourself a matching sweater, and snap some photos to share with friends and family. 

#5: Give your pet the gift of good health

The best gift for your pet this holiday season—a gift that lasts all year—is the gift of preventive care. Regular wellness examinations will prevent disease and prolong your pet’s life. Annual wellness exams—or twice-yearly exams for senior pets—allow your veterinarian to check for subtle illness signs that may not be obvious, but can be better treated or managed with an early diagnosis. Regular screening also provides the veterinarian with baseline values for future comparison. 

However you choose to celebrate with your pet, we wish you and your family the happiest of holidays. Contact our Alpine Animal Hospital team to schedule your pet’s next wellness exam, and start the new year off right for your pet with the gift of good health.