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Santa Paws and Other Holiday Traditions

Have yourself a furry little Christmas!


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Sassafras Lowrey

 

It's hard to believe, but the holidays are here and the year is nearly over! It's a time of year that has a lot of us thinking of cozy nights in, and spending time with our families and friends. For many of us, our most important family are the dogs, cats or other animals we share our hearts and homes with. To prep for this month’s column, I posted on Facebook and Twitter asking how readers celebrate the holidays with their pets!

 

I got a number of responses from lesbian readers whose holiday family traditions center around incorporating their pets. Many of us don't have family to travel to visit, which lends itself to us creating special holiday rituals to make celebrations special for our fuzzy kids. Lots of readers who responded that they prep special meals for their pets and the purchasing of holiday toys, outfits or silly accessories like reminder antlers and Santa hats, Chanukah mice for kitties, and filling stockings with toys and treats. Other readers spoke of having annual family holiday pictures taken, or taking their dogs to visit Santa Paws. For many, these traditions are fun and playful, while others shared deeply personal traditions like road tripping with dogs to visit family, and special arrangements with ex-partners around holiday visitation with pets adopted when they were together, and how the furry kids spend Christmas with their other mom (by reader request I'll be covering divorce/visitation with pets in a future months column). 

 

I'm a Christmas fanatic and the holidays are a big time in my house, but like all other times of year the needs and happiness of the dogs and cats are front and center. Our traditions include special holiday meals, stockings for everyone as well as Christmas presents wrapped under the tree for the fuzzy kids, and maybe a silly costume or two. This year has an extra level of excitement as it will be our (no longer so) feral kitten Thing's first Christmas! We’re excited to build new holiday traditions including him, and are hoping he doesn't attempt to climb our Christmas tree! 

 

Although the holidays are a great time to spend with your pets, animals shouldn’t be given as gifts no matter how much you think the other person will want the pet.

 

Also, as fun as the holidays can be, they can also be a dangerous time for animals whose routines are disrupted by the festivities, visitors can leave doors open, and many of the delicious treats we love to eat this time of year are actually dangerous to our furry friends! Check our the holiday safety guide from the ASPCA below, which includes ideas for pet safe holiday decorations, as well as a guide to common holiday foods that are toxic to our pets! 

 

How about you? How do you incorporate your pets into your holiday traditions? 


More Holiday pet tips from ASPCA: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/holiday-safety-tips  

Sassafras Lowrey is a straightedge queer punk who grew up to become the 2013 winner of the Lambda Literary Emerging Writer Award.  Hir books—Kicked Out, Roving Pack, and Leather Ever After—have been honored by organizations ranging from the National Leather Association to the American Library Association. Hir next novel Lost Boi will be released from Arsenal Pulp Press in Spring 2015. Sassafras lives and writes in Brooklyn with hir partner and five furry beasts. www.SassafrasLowrey.com

 

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