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Articles and Advice from our Pet Expert

5 Tips to Ensure Your Pet Has a Holly Jolly Visit with Santa

With Christmas fast approaching, many pet parents will want to make magical memories that include their four-legged friends. After all, pets are family! A visit to see Santa can be a fun family outing that allows you to make merry moments in photo form for scrapbooks or holiday cards.

If your heart is set on seeing your pet perched on Santa’s lap this holiday season, here are 5 things to consider beforehand:

  1. Not all pets will be sugar and spice with Santa.
    We’ve all seen small children cry on Santa’s lap out of fear. So before you take Fido to see the jolly man, think about how your pet will react to a stranger in a funny costume. Some pets may be fine with strangers but add a costume to the equation and you might have a frightened fur-ball on your hands. You know your pet best, so use your best judgment. If you go, be sure to keep your pet on a leash or in a carrier until time to see Santa. And be sure to offer lots of praise and comfort throughout the process.
  2. Be sure your pet is decked out for the occasion.
    A freshly bathed and groomed pet is not only a courtesy to Santa and his elves, but also an effort to enhance the outcome of your pet’s holiday photo. Consider dressing pets in festive finery such as holiday themed collars, bandanas or clothing, if your pet is the dress-up type.
  3. Manners matter at the North Pole.
    Want to make Santa’s “nice” (not naughty) list? Pets should be able to obey basic commands such as sit, stay and come. Not only are these good manners Santa will appreciate, but they will ensure a great photo and more importantly, protect your pet if they slip away from the scene.
  4. Know the process ahead of time.
    Long lines of fidgety children come to mind when I think of seeing Santa! To reduce stress for you and your pet, be sure to call ahead to determine how the pet visits are coordinated. Will you be assigned a time or a number or will you wait in line? Find out what the least busy times are and plan accordingly to ensure comfort and joy while you wait your turn.
  5. Don’t fill your pet’s belly before seeing Santa.
    Your pet is sure to be excited upon meeting Santa—who wouldn’t be! But a stuffed tummy might lead to a messy accident. So, play it safe by not feeding your pet for a couple of hours before the trip. However, do have some of their favorite treats on hand to encourage good behavior. Keep in mind, it’s easy for your pet to listen to commands at home, but all of that can quickly be forgotten in a busy, unfamiliar public space. Having their favorite treats on hand can coax even the most stubborn pets to sit still long enough for a memorable snapshot.

Chilly will be making his first visit to see Santa this year! I’ll be sure to share our experience with you. Follow these tips and please share photos of your pets and Santa with our BISSELL Pet Community!

Meanwhile, BISSELL Partners for Pets has a special holiday treat for both you and homeless pets! Starting December 9th through 20th, they’ll be giving away BISSELL products to fans who answer the engagement question on Facebook. The lucky winner each day will be asked to choose a Partners for Pets member organization to receive a $1,000 Holiday Gift from the BISSELL Pet Foundation! In total, that is $12,000 Partners for Pets will be giving away to animal welfare organizations before Christmas. Be sure to “like” the page and watch each day for your chance to win and to help homeless pets!

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Written by:
Kristen Levine, Pet Lifestyle Expert

December 12, 2013

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