The holidays, while festive and fun, can be stressful for us. There are gifts to purchase, travel plans to arrange, and a seemingly endless to-do list. This time of year can also be uniquely stressful for our pets. Here are some tips for keeping the season free of stress and anxiety for your furry friend.
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:
- 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 or concerns about mitigating your furry friend’s anxiety? Contact us for help. Happy Holidays from all of us at El Gato Veterinary Hospital!