Happy Holidays! At this time of year, you’ll find lots of articles and advice about holiday care and gifts for dogs and cats. But what about other pets? As your Marion, IA area veterinarian, I discuss spending the holidays with exotic pets in this article.
If you like, you can add some decorations to your pet’s habitat. You may be able to find a gift box or igloo that will make a good hide. Paper snowmen or snowflake chains are cute options for pets that like to chew, like bunnies and Guinea pigs. Just take care to only use safe objects. Avoid small and/or sharp objects, items with ropes and cords, and anything with glitter, tinsel, or pine needles (real or fake).
Be Aware Of Stress
Changes in schedule, temperature, and environments can all be very stressful for pets. If you’re hosting an event, you may want to put your animal companion in a quiet back room for the night and let them sit out the festivities. Look for signs that your little buddy is feeling uneasy. These vary from pet to pet, but some common ones include trembling, hiding, and anorexia.
You may want to provide some extra bedding, especially for older pets. Many exotic pets–particularly reptiles–must be kept within specific temperature ranges. Keep an eye on that thermometer! We also recommend having a backup heat source, such as a small generator, in case of a power outage.
Fill Their Stockings
Don’t forget to pick up something for your pet! Many exotic pets love things like toys and treats or comfy beds, tents, or hammocks. Reptiles probably won’t be very impressed by toys, but may enjoy a bigger tank or a new hide.
Take Some Pictures
Exotic pets can take some really cute pictures! Put a tiny Santa hat on your chinchilla, or take a picture of your lizard sitting on a sleigh.
Enjoy Some Quality Time
The holidays are a great time to relax and unwind. Spend some time with your pet! You may find that relaxing with a good book or movie and your snake or lizard on your arm is a great way to spend a chilly winter night.
Happy Holidays! Please reach out with any questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care. As your Marion, IA area veterinarian. I am always happy to help!