In today's day and age, Christmas pictures with Santa Claus are no longer just for children - they are for your furry children as well. Malls like Smith Haven and Roosevelt Field are treating their patrons to holiday photos with Santa after the kids have wrapped up their photos, but if you are looking for something more low-key than a mall Santa, you can also bring your pet to one of the many animal shelters that are hosting free pet pictures with Santa, as well as other engaging festivities for you and your pet. On December 13, several Petcos will invite shoppers to take their pets photo with Santa for just $9.95, and they will also be giving free frames to commemorate the holiday. After you treat your furry friends this holiday season to a picture with Santa, take a look at these tips for traveling with pets for the holidays to try to ease both your stress and theirs, and to make the season a cheerful one for all.
Holiday Photo Events:
Sunday, December 7
- Annual Pet Photos with Santa & Holiday Social – Riverhead, 11-2 p.m.
- "Santa Paws" Comes to Save-A-Pet on the Sound! – Port Jefferson, 12-4 p.m.
- Pet Photo Nights with Santa at Roosevelt Field – Garden City, 8-10 p.m.
Saturday, December 13
- Commack Petco Photos with Santa –Commack, 1-4 p.m.
- Bay Shore Petco Photos with Santa – Bay Shore, 1-4 p.m.
- Lake Grove Petco Photos with Santa – Lake Grove, 1-4 p.m.
- Syosset Petco Photos with Santa – Syosset, 1-4 p.m.
- Wantagh Petco Photos with Santa – Wantagh, 1-4 p.m.
Sunday, December 14
- Pet Photos With Santa – Hampton Bays, 1-3 p.m.
- Simon® Pet Photo Nights with Santa at Smith Haven Mall – Lake Grove, 7-8 p.m.
Saturday, December 20 and Sunday, December 21
- Santa Arrives – Freeport, 11-3 p.m.
Traveling with Your Pet:
- When traveling with your pet, be sure to keep them as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Bring familiar items, such as some of their toys, their litter pan, or even blankets that have the familiar smell of home. If you are transporting a cat, make sure they are in a carrier to prevent injury while in the car, and give them a warm blanket, towel, or sweatshirt to nestle in.
- Familiarize your cat or dog with their crate before it is time to leave. Leave it out in the home so they can explore it beforehand and so that it is less intimidating when you take it out to bring them on a trip.
- If your dog is too big for a crate, be sure to keep him or her on a leash during the drive, and consider getting a leash that clips to the seatbelt to keep your pet from moving around the car too much and becoming distracting.
- If you are driving far distances, give your pet a few short breaks, but only if they are leashed or otherwise contained.
- Be sure not to feed your pet within 1-2 hours before driving, as it can lead to motion sickness. If you are not sure how your pet will respond to a ride in the car, bring paper towels and plastic bags just in case they are sick or have an accident.
- When driving long distances with a cat, you may wish to bring a litter pan and give your cat the option to use it when the vehicle is stopped. Keep all windows closed to prevent your cat from potentially escaping the car.
- When traveling with a cat in a wire carrier, cover all sides but the front with a towel, sheet, or blanket so that your cat feels more secure.