Gifts to purchase. Events to attend. Food to prepare. Visitors to welcome. Crowds. Noise. Financial worries… The holidays are a stressful time, but humans aren’t the only species who experience increased anxiety during the “most wonderful time of the year”—our pets often feel the pain of the holidays, too.

Here are some ways to keep your pet stress-free during the holiday season so you can start the New Year off right.

  • Give pets space — Ever had grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in one place at one time? Would you have given anything to escape to a quiet spot where no one could find you? That’s how many pets feel with the commotion of holiday visitors and the changes in normal daily routines. Before the extended family and friends arrive, provide your pet with a place all her own, where visitors can’t disturb her. Find a quiet bedroom or walk-in closet and put a few of her favorite things there:
    • Bedding
    • Toys
    • Treats
    • Calming music
    • A pheromone diffuser (or spray pheromones on her bed there)
  • Stick with the routine — It may be difficult, but try to stick to your pet’s typical routine, even during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Take walks, feed meals, and give medications at the usual times. Find time to give your pet some individual attention and TLC, too. Let her know that, even if you’re busy and preoccupied, she’s still your best furry pal.
  • Provide opportunities for exercise — Just like with humans, pets experience physical and emotional benefits from exercise. Escape the family visitors and take a walk, give your pet a food puzzle, or engage in a good old-fashioned game of tug of war with your pet’s favorite rope toy. Bonus: Exercising and playing with your pet will grow your bond and help to mitigate your holiday stress, too.

Questions about alleviating your pet’s holiday anxiety? Call us 607-733-6503.