Festive holiday decorations are starting to pop up around southern Ontario. The time of year tends to be busy and bustling, full of errands, events, and more. Yet humans aren’t the only ones who can experience increased anxiety during the “most wonderful time of the year.” Our furry companions can often feel stress during the holidays as well. Here are some ways to keep your pet stress-free during the holiday season.

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 regular 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:

  • Bedding
  • Toys
  • Treats
  • 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 favourite rope toy. Bonus: Exercising and playing with your pet will grow your bond and help to mitigate your holiday stress, too.

If you have any questions or concerns about mitigating your pet’s anxiety during the holiday season, contact us.