The holidays can be stressful not only to us humans but also to our pets! The crowded parties, loud music, decorations, and change in routine can cause anxiety to your pets. We do not notice all the signs of stress they go through, that's why it's important to find ways to avoid stressing them out. Especially the fireworks and the change in the activities during the holidays. Some pets may have an obvious reaction towards the stressors and some would just look like their normal selves but are actually in distress. It's always best to be prepared to avoid problems and keep pets calm and happy during your festivities!
Here are some of the few ways to keep your pets calm during the holiday festivities:
Walk your dog during the day.
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Photo by mentatdgt
A good brisk walk will help keep your pets calm during the fireworks and parties. Aside from keeping pets active and healthy physically. Pets will become relaxed and comfortable after. So it's important to take some time for a good brisk walk. It will also help you calm down and breathe in some fresh air before any parties! So it's a win-win!
Limit the number of guests that come visit.
Sometimes crowded places and crowds, in general, can stress a pet out. So when you plan a party at your home, make sure the number of guests doesn't overwhelm your pets. Let your pets meet people at their own pace. Do not force an interaction!
Keep your pets on a regular schedule.
Despite the hecticness, the holidays may bring, just do the routine you do with your pets as much as possible. The consistency will help pets feel more secure despite the extra festive days. Stock on pet needs to avoid doing last-minute shopping. You can also order online pet treats and food if you won't have time going out.
Don’t tempt your pet with table scraps.
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Image by Felix Wolf
Don't leave any food scraps lying around the table so you won't tempt your pets. Several foods are toxic to them, be very careful. You can check out the list of toxic food for pets that we made here. Most of the toxic ones are human foods. Prepare them their favourite pet treats and food so they can also feast together with you with food that is safe for them!
Make a safe den for your pet to retreat to if they feel scared.
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Image by Hassan Monteleone
If a lot of visitors is unavoidable, try creating a safe space for your pets. Never force your pets to meet people for the first time especially when they are feeling overwhelmed and uncomfortable. Wait for them if they are comfortable. You can help them whenever they get scared by providing them with a safe den. For cats, you can layout cardboard boxes around the living space, and hiding spots like under the furniture. For dogs, set up a crate for them. You can add their fave toys and their beds so they have something familiar in there to keep them calm.
Don't forget to top up your pet's water bowl. Pets, especially dogs, pant more when they get anxious. When they do they get thirsty.
During the fireworks have the TV or the radio switched on.
Distract your pets from the firecrackers with background noise like your television or the radio. You can also shut your windows and doors to muffle the sound of the fireworks further. You can put on your pet's fave movie or song to remind them of happy thoughts!
Plan your holiday vacation with your pet in mind.
If you are planning on going away for the holidays and you are taking your pet with you, plan your vacation accordingly. Make sure you have the things not only you need but also your pet. Don't forget to pack their passport, medicine, treats, and something familiar to them so they won't feel worried when they are away from home. Any scent that can make them feel a sense of security--their fave toy or bed.
Also, don't forget that you also need to keep calm! Our pets can sense our change in emotions, so if you are stressed out or worried they will feed off of it and be stressed out and worried as well. So don't forget to take a step back, chill, and breathe! The holidays are meant for festivities and celebrating. May your holiday be fun for you and your pets!