The holidays are a special and magical time for us, but we should consider the stress our pets endure during these times. There are a few things to keep in mind as the holidays approach that can help minimize holiday pet stress. Here are some tips that will be sure to make the holidays as enjoyable for your pets as they are for you.
Keep Their Normal Routine to Reduce Holiday Pet Stress
It is easy to get overwhelmed with holiday stress and chaos, but keeping your pets’ schedule close to normal is very important. Pets are their happiest and are comfortable when they have consistency and a schedule that you follow.
When the holidays come we can be busy, which may mean leaving our furry friends at home too often. If you keep up with as normal of a routine as possible with your pets, they won’t feel as stressed when you are away. If you switch up their schedule because you are too busy, they can start feeling stressed. Maintaining a regular schedule of feedings, exercise, and going outside for your dogs is important. Try working in some cuddle and playtime as well so that they are still getting quality time with you.
Pet travel can be stressful already, so if you are traveling for the holidays be sure to keep their routine as normal as possible, as if you were home. Before traveling, research different dog walking trails or parks to ensure they are still going to get their exercise and be as happy as they can be if you are leaving home during the holiday season.
Create a Comfortable Space for Your Pets
If you are planning on having people over to celebrate the holidays, you should create a safe place for your pets. Put them in a separate room, such as a bedroom, and bring them their favorite toys so they feel comfortable while being alone. If loud noises scare your pets, you should leave a white noise machine or television on so it can help drown out the noises. You can also consider boarding your pets or have them stay with a familiar face. Don’t forget to check in with them throughout the gathering.
If you are traveling with your pet for the holidays, here are a few more suggestions. Keeping your pet’s favorite toy with you will make them comfortable as much as possible and will help with any traveling you may do with them. Long car rides can be difficult for pets, but providing a comfortable space in the car can help put your put at ease. Don’t forget to work in some stops for your dog to be able to go to the bathroom and get some energy out. These tips for traveling will allow you and your pets to enjoy the holidays and will reduce your holiday pet stress.
Prevent Emergency Vet Visits
With the holidays comes a variety of foods, snacks, and treats that can be harmful to your pets. You should make sure there is nothing harmful left out that your pet can reach. An emergency visit to the vet isn’t a way we want to celebrate our holidays.
It can be scary to have a sick pet while you are traveling, and finding a vet can be difficult in an unfamiliar area. Besides preventing your pets from getting into any food, you should get a check-up for your pet before traveling. It is suggested to bring your adult pets in for two checkups a year, and you should try to plan one before traveling. This will help with your holiday pet stress because you’ll know your pets are healthy before traveling, reducing the risk of any health scares.
In addition to food, you should be aware of toxic plants for pets. For example, poinsettias can be very harmful if eaten by a cat. Be sure to look up which flowers and plants are toxic for your pets before using them as decoration in a place where they can be reached.
You always want the holidays to be special, so if you follow these tips you are guaranteed a fun, stress-free holiday season for you and your pets. Minimize your holiday pet stress by maintaining your pet’s regular routine as well as their comfort and health.
At Southern Arizona Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center we are happy to provide a wide range of veterinary specialty and emergency services. It is important to have a “primary care” veterinarian to keep your new family member healthy and happy with routine vaccinations and health checks. But if you find yourself in the midst of a veterinary emergency, our team of experienced veterinarians is here to help. When it comes to visiting animal hospitals, we understand that the experience can be full of stress and worry, so we aim to make things as simple as possible. For more information, get in touch with one of our experts today.