Pets and Christmas
Pets and Christmas just go together like peanut butter and jelly, right? In an ideal world, they do. But what about in real life?
The holidays can be stressful for our pets, just like they can be for us humans. Between all the extra comings and goings, the unfamiliar people, the noise, and the blown schedule, everything normal and comforting has been transformed to strange and stressful for your pets.
Pets feel the stress too.
When routine is mixed up, stress can get to be a problem for your pet. If you think about it, you’ve probably felt it too. Humans can understand why things are so stressful and have a better chance of being able de-stress or call a time out when they need it. But pets usually don’t understand why their routine has been disrupted and they probably don’t have any idea of how to de-stress.
Recognizing stress in your pet
The first thing to remember is that your pets might be feeling stressed. You can watch for the signs. You might see
- shaking and shivering
- excessive yawning
- more than normal shedding
- digestive problems
- whining or barking more than normal
- irritable or aggressive behavior
Recognizing stress is the first step in trying to help your pet cope with it.
You can help your pet
Christmas and the winter holidays can be extremely stressful for pets. But what can you do to decrease the stress?
First, you can try to keep things as normal as possible. Try to keep feeding time, turn out time, etc. as normal as possible. You’ll probably have some times that aren’t normal, but hopefully fewer of them.
When you expect lots of people, you might want to exercise your dog or play with your cat and then seclude them in a bedroom, etc., so they have a quiet space while things get noisy. Even the friendliest of pets can get overwhelmed and feel the need to escape.
You can give CBD oil or see your vet for other options for calming if your pet suffers from more extreme anxiety. This can be especially helpful if fireworks are being used on New Year’s Eve, for example.
Pets and Christmas can be managed, if not enjoyed
Not all pets suffer anxiety to the same degree, but depending on the situation, some of them get pretty worked up. If you pay attention, you can help the holiday season be much more enjoyable for you AND your pets.
Mostly, remember that they are suffering from the stress and be as understanding as possible. When things get back to normal, your furry friend will get back to themselves again.
Do you have pets who have issues around the holidays? Tell me about it below.
For more about managing stress for your dog, read Dog Anxiety is Ruling My Life.