How to Keep Your Pet Stress-Free This Holiday Season
The holidays are often filled with family, food, shopping, celebrations, lights, Christmas trees, presents, and music. While many of us cherish the holidays, it’s also common for people to become stressed during the holiday season. And if you’re feeling stressed, it’s likely that your pet is feeling the same.
You can help your pet have a safe and stress-free holiday season with a little extra planning. Here are some tips to help make the holidays less stressful for both you and your pet!
1. Set Up a Safe Space for Your Pet
Having a safe space for your pet during the holiday festivities can be such a relief for both of you. They can escape the noise, commotion, and guests, plus you don’t have to worry about them getting into food or decorations that might harm them. Providing your pet with treats, toys, and other familiar items can help them relax and feel less stressed.
If your pet is extra stressed, you could talk to your veterinarian about calming aids or pheromones that might help your pet feel calm and relaxed.
2. Try to Keep Your Pet’s Routine Consistent
Similar to humans, pets thrive on consistency and routine. Changing up your pet’s daily schedule can increase their anxiety, so if possible, keep your pet’s routine consistent. Sticking to your pet’s regular routine (especially when it comes to playing, exercising, and feeding) will help minimize stress.
3. Give Your Pet Some Extra Snuggles
You probably feel like you don’t have much extra time between cooking, decorating, and shopping, but giving your pet some extra attention will help decrease any stress that they may be feeling. Some snuggles and quality time, even if it’s brief, can help reduce stress in you and your pet!
4. Make Special Treats Just for Your Pet
Many holiday foods simply aren’t safe for our pets or their health. It’s a good idea to discourage family and friends from feeding your pet off of their plates since you can’t always supervise what your pet is being fed.
Still want to treat your pet? Consider making safe and healthy foods for your pet! There are a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that are safe for pets.
5. Be Careful with the Decorations
When it comes to decorations, it’s important to be intentional to ensure they can’t harm your pet. Following some pet safety tips for holiday decorating can help keep your pet safe this holiday season. Be especially careful with tinsel, candles, electrical cords, lights, ornaments, and holiday plants. Making sure all decorations are out of your pet’s reach is important for their safety.
6. Don’t Forget to Exercise
If you plan on having guests over at your home for the festivities, it can help to exercise your pet before guests arrive. Taking your pet on a walk can help release your pet’s energy, tire your pet out, and help minimize stress. If it’s too cold outside, get creative and find some indoor activities that will help keep your pet entertained.
You’ve probably heard the old saying, “A tired dog is a good dog.” Well, there’s some truth to that! Exercising your pet and releasing any pent-up energy can help them stay calmer during the commotion.
The holidays can be stressful for all of us, including our pets. Planning ahead and putting in a little extra effect can help ensure your pet has a safe and stress-free holiday season!