Stick to Your Pet’s Normal Routine This Holiday Season | PetFirst
Pet Care & Health

Stick to Your Pet’s Normal Routine This Holiday Season

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
4 months ago

A predictable routine is vital for pets amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Make sure specific things such as meals, walks, play and bedtime occur on schedule each day, even when you are being pulled in many directions. 

Sticking to your pet’s normal routine is one of the best ways to keep everyone stress-free as well as to maintain a healthy, well-behaved and well-adjusted dog or cat.

Stick to your pet’s normal schedule

If you normally feed Fluffy or Fido first thing in the morning, but are taking the day off and hope to sleep in, still get up and feed your furry loved one first thing. It’s the best approach to take. If you have a day filled with errands, but your pooch is accustomed to a mid-day walk, work around his schedule, or hire a professional pet sitter to stretch his legs.

Don’t adjust your pet’s schedule to fit your needs.

Animals don’t understand that you need to buy presents, attend a holiday party or other reason requiring them to “hold it” until you return, especially if they are seniors. Disrupt their basic needs as little as possible since their lifestyle will already be topsy-turvy with decorations, company, and additional noise and changes.  

If kids are home from school and relatives are visiting, it’s possible duties may be split amongst various humans.  It may be helpful to keep a checklist of your dog or cat’s daily needs so that nothing gets missed throughout each day.

Tasks that should be addressed daily: 

  • Feed the Dog/Cat (Morning/Evening)
  • Vitamins
  • Exercise
  • Playtime
  • Treats
  • Walk (morning/noon/evening)
  • Change/Scoop the Litter
  • Bath for Fido/Fluffy including Trim those nails!
  • Wash Dog/Cat Bedding
  • Brush Dog/Cat Teeth
  • Buy more Pet Food
  • Schedule Veterinary Visit
  • Schedule Grooming Visit
  • Schedule Pet Sitter

Other important tasks to remember:

Exercise and Playtime

Exercise and playtime are essential as it allows our best pals to release energy in a positive way. 

Although the holidays can be fun and joyous, most humans give off intense energy which can create great anxiety in our animal friends. Without exercise, dogs and cats can become anxious, irritable and hyperactive. Make it a point to provide your dog or cat physical exercise every day, and chances are, you’ll see a happier pet.

Also, feed or treat from a puzzle game, maybe when company arrives, to keep pets busy and provide a brain-teasing challenge. Some pets like a modified hunt by having you hide pieces of kibble around a room or in small paper bags that they can find and tear into.  

Spend Quality Time With Your Pet

The final part of sticking to a routine is making time for togetherness. It’s why you’re a family after all!  It will do you as much good as it will your cat or dog. Whether it is snuggling on the sofa, going for a peaceful walk or throwing the ball. 

We are part of their pack or clowder and they want to feel part of all we do, so don’t relegate your fur family to the backroom all season long. Keep them safe, but make sure there is plenty of together time.  

Stay Aware of Your Pet’s Needs This Holiday Season

Walk at your normal walk time, feed on schedule and don’t forget to play — it does a body good (human, canine or feline). Practicing a few agility moves or basic obedience keeps the mind sharp. Especially when company is coming to call, schedule in quality time spent with your best friend BEFORE the doorbell rings. A tired pet is a good pet, and one who feels loved and special is a happier more well-adjusted one as well.

Here at PetFirst, we know accidents and illnesses happen to all pets. PetFirst is here for every dog and cat. From common colds to more significant health problems, pet insurance can help cover unexpected vet visits.

Pet insurance can provide peace of mind this holiday season. Get a free quote today.


Denise Fleck is the Pet Safety Crusader™ having personally taught more than 20,000 humans to rescue Rover or help Fluffy feel better.  Her mission is to help YOU make a difference in the life of an animal through Pet First-Aid, Senior Pet Care and Disaster Preparedness classes and books.  Learn more at


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