With all the end of year stress we often find ourselves forgetting about making arrangements for our pets over the December period. Picture: Supplied

The festive season is only weeks away and the countdown has begun. 

Though our pets are our priority during the year, with all the end of year stress we often find ourselves forgetting about making arrangements for our pets over the December period. 

David Roache, from dotsure.co.za, says that arranging our pets care over this period can be very stressful for them and pet parents: "We have found that over this period, there is an increase in claims, this is as a result of pets being stressed by changes that may occur in their usual schedule. This can result in them becoming sick or attempting to escape, especially if they have a pet sitter or are left on their own for long periods of time."

There are a few things that pet parents should add to their checklist as December approaches, says Roache. 

Research alternative arrangements

If you are going away and can't take your pets with you, be sure to arrange a pet sitter or book them into a kennel or cattery, preferably one they have happily stayed at before or comes well recommended.

Call the doctor

If your pet is on regular medication, have the script filled for the December period as your vet may be working reduced hours or may be closed over certain periods.

Christmas box

Don't forget to add your pet to Santa's nice list - who better to buy a chew toy or new bed for?

Make time for bonding

If you are staying at home for the December break, schedule in some family walks with your dog, it is not only great bonding time, but you'll all get some exercise, especially after long and deliciously indulgent lunches.

Are they covered?

Sign-up for pet insurance - it's one less thing to worry about.