Between the gifts, the shopping, the cooking, the holiday parties, and the houseguests, the Christmas holiday can be as trying as they are lovely. Unfortunately, your pets can sometimes feel the stress of the season, too. Even during the busiest time of year, it’s important to make sure to keep pet safety in mind. The team at The Pets Place Animal Hospital has put together these tips for a pet-safe and stress-free Christmas holiday:
The Christmas holiday can bring a disruption to the daily routine of your furry friends. Pets will notice this disruption when the kids are home from school, when visitors and strangers come to town, or if you’re spending more time out of the house than usual. Also, packing suitcases, unusual smells, and flashing lights from decorations can give pets a hint that something is up.
Here are some tips to help your pet reduce stress during the holiday season:
Help your pets burn off some negative energy or prepare them for a stressful evening ahead by making sure they get plenty of exercise. Take your dog for a walk around the park, or throw a ball or frisbee during a long game of fetch. Bring out the feather wands or laser pointers to make sure your cats move around and stay active. The goal is to get your pet moving and active, so they find it easier to relax when they are tired out.
One of the most important things you can do for your pet is reassure them through some quality time. Set aside some time to relax with your pet to help reduce stress. Give them lots of cuddles, attention, and love. If you’re not able to spend the time necessary to care for your pet, consider hiring a pet sitter to make sure they get adequate exercise, meals, and attention during this busy time of year.
If your cat or dog is uncomfortable with house guests, set up a comfortable bed or space for your pet in a room away from visitors. Create a quiet and comfortable environment for your pet to retreat to with bedding, blankets, and toys so they can relax and unwind. Consider giving your pet calming treats or utilizing pheromone plug-ins to help encourage relaxation. If your pet is extremely anxious, give your veterinarian a call to ask about anxiety medication.
Practicing holiday pet safety each holiday season is extremely important. Keep candles, chocolate, decorations, and other hazardous items stored away or out of reach from your pets. Also, refrain from feeding them any table scraps from the holiday table, as this can lead to an upset stomach, pancreatitis, or even an accidental pet poisoning.
Keep the phone number and address of your veterinarian, the nearest 24-hour emergency vet, and Animal Poison Control hotline handy incase if something does happen.
You might notice the following signs in your pet if they are experiencing stress:
Pacing or circling
Lack of or change in appetite
Excessive drooling or panting in dogs
Excessive grooming in cats
Whining, shivering, or shaking in dogs
Urination outside of the litter box in cats
If you’re worried about your pet’s stress level, give your veterinarian a call. The caring team at The Pet’s Place Animal Hospital can help you establish a plan to care for your pet and help reduce their stress and anxiety. Call us at (951) 684-2181 to set up a wellness check for your fur baby this holiday season.