The holiday season is underway, and Fido and Fluffy sense the excitement.  Our homes sparkle and shimmer as we bustle with festive activities.  Holiday decorating, baking, and wrapping are part of the fun.

Remember to include your furry friends this season.  They would be thrilled to be on your gift list, and they are easy to shop for, too.

New pet beds are always useful and much appreciated.  With time, beds wear out and lose their cushioning ability.  They also trap odor-causing bacteria and yeast.  A fresh bed feels more comfortable and smells better, too.  If your Fido is older, consider a bed designed for senior pets.  These orthopedic foam mattresses ease achy joints and help Fido get a restful night’s sleep.   Cats usually like a fluffy bed with cozy sides to snuggle in.

The holidays are a great time to update your pet’s wardrobe and accessories.  Does Fido need a new winter coat?  Many dogs feel better when properly dressed for the wintry weather.  New collars are also fun.  They look snazzy and they’ll smell fresh, too.  Ditto for harnesses and leashes.

While you’re updating your pets’ fashion accessories, be sure to check their identification.  Every pet that wears a collar or harness should have a visible ID tag with your cell phone number.  If your beloved pet gets lost, they cannot ask for help.  Also, every cat and dog should be microchipped.  This inexpensive, permanent identification has reunited thousands of lost pets with their owners.  Be sure to register the microchip and keep your contact info updated; otherwise, your pet cannot be traced back to you.

We like to visit the salon before the holidays, and our pets are probably no different.  Now is the time to get your furry friend spruced up with a bath.  If you have a long-haired or “doodle” dog, a fresh haircut would look and feel great, too.  Fluffy may also like to visit the groomer.  Long-haired cats are prone to mats, which tug and pull the skin like a too-tight ponytail.  A popular haircut for these cats is the lion-cut.  It’s a cute hairdo.  Check out pictures online and see if you approve.

If your cat or dog has not been to their veterinarian recently, they would appreciate a check-up.  Every pet should be examined at least annually, even if they appear well to you.  Cats and dogs are masters at disguising discomfort.  Your veterinarian will do a nose-to-tail exam and discuss oral comfort, heart health, achy joints, and digestive issues.  Pets are also more comfortable when they are parasite-free.  Ask you, veterinarian, for advice on how to control bugs both inside and outside your pet.

Everyone is eager to receive homemade holiday goodies, and your Fido and Fluffy are no exception.  Homemade pet treats may be stored in the refrigerator for one week.

Here are some recipes to get you started:

Holiday Spice Biscuits for Fido

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup rye flour

½ cup yellow cornmeal

½ cup oat bran

2 teaspoons cinnamon