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Tips for Creating a Low-Stress Holiday for Your Pet

0 Comments Posted by WestarborAdmin in Life with Pets, Seasonal Pet Safety on Wednesday, November 28th, 2018.

Dog and cat in front of Christmas treeCreating a Low-Stress Holiday for Your Pet

Can you imagine it…The decorations are perfectly placed, the gifts are purchased and wrapped, the food is prepped, and you are in your favorite, cozy chair completely relaxed. This sounds like the ideal pre-holiday scenario, right? But of course, the holiday season, despite our best intentions, are not usually relaxing.

With all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, this level of stress and activity can affect our pets. This is particularly true for pets that deal with anxiety, phobia, or have health issues. Wouldn’t it be great to have a low-stress holiday for yourself as well as your pet? Here are some tips that can help!

Preparing for a Low-Stress Holiday for Your Pet

Festivities are great, but festivities with furry ones may not be as exciting. By anticipating your pet’s needs this season, you can help to avoid accidents or emergencies, as well as undue stress.

  1. Plan ahead – Rather than wait until the last minute, if you start all of your seasonal tasks earlier, you won’t feel so panicked at the last minute. By getting a head start on some of the shopping and the holiday needs, neither of you will be subjected to so much disruption later in the month.
  2. Remove temptations – If you know your cat likes to climb the tree, or your dog loves to peruse the buffet table, make sure those places are off limits. With so much food and so many glittery, breakable baubles, these holiday hazard temptations can cause your pet to feel anxious (and curious, which can lead to an accident or emergency).
  3. Consider your travel plans – If you plan to travel with your pet, a crowded home with all of the 2nd and 3rd cousins, may not be comfortable for a four-legged friend. If possible, opt to stay at a pet friendly hotel, or board your pet with a reputable kennel. If your pet is prone to escaping the house or yard, boarding may be a safer option than chancing it at a home that is unfamiliar to them.
  4. Create a Pet-Space – If you are hosting a party or dinner, find a quiet room in the home where you can give your pet some respite from the noise. Add their favorite blankets, toys, some treats, and perhaps leave a radio or TV on to help mitigate noise. This not only relieves some of the stress, but it also protects your pet from getting into toxic foods, like chocolate and alcohol.
  5. Hire a pet sitter – Just as you might hire a trusted sitter for your children during parties, why not find one for your pet? This will give you a chance to relax, knowing that your pet is in good hands and will love the fun and attention.
  6. Provide plenty of attention and exercise – If you decide not to get a sitter, make sure to walk your dog or provide another form of exercise before the event. A tired doggo is a calm one. Give your pet extra attention during the day. Snuggles and time bonding together go a long way in decreasing holiday anxiety.
  7. Take care of yourself – Last but not least, don’t forget to take care of you. Self-care during the holidays is vital to avoiding stress and burnout. Your mood plays a key role in how your pet responds to the festivities and events. Check your emotions and physical health to keep both you and your pet at your seasonal best.

While we can’t escape a little holly-jolly chaos this season, we can make some changes to have a better chance at peace of mind and serenity. The holidays are a time for family and friends, and remembering all of the good we have in our lives. Make this a time to cherish by creating a low-stress holiday for your pet.

If Westarbor Animal Hospital can help answer any questions about pet safety during the holidays, or pet anxiety, please phone us. Enjoy the season!

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