The holidays can be stressful for both humans and companion animals alike. Between unfamiliar guests and loud gatherings, our pets can be easily overwhelmed by the season of lights. How do you help your four-legged elves stay happy and comfortable?
Adhere to your normal routine
Dogs and cats feel most comfortable in a routine. When unexpected events change the time they’re walked, fed or snuggled, it can be disruptive and anxiety-producing. Many pets will act out as a result.
Sticking to the normal everyday routine of walks, feeding and treats helps keep pets on balance. For example, if you’re planning on having guests over, take your dog for a nice long walk first to burn off some nervous energy.
Offer up a quiet pet room
An increase in noise and activity can be similarly upsetting for pets. Dogs and cats are more sensitive to sound, and the added influx of conversation and music and kids playing can be a lot for them to handle.
Always prepare a quiet room where pets can go to relax and get away from the hubbub. Offer comfortable blankets or beds, soothing music or white noise and other comforting touches. If they’re especially prone to anxiety, stay with them for a while until they get settled in. That way, they can unwind in style.
Communicate with guests
Keeping your pet happy and healthy is second nature to you, but friends and family may not know the ground rules with your pet. Let them know!
Give visitors a rundown on what pets can eat (and what treats should be kept out of paw’s reach). If your guests are bringing kids, teach them when and how to engage with your pets. Lastly, if your dogs or cats are prone to getting out, be sure to let your guests know.
Ready for the road
Holiday travel can be stressful for pets as well as humans. If you’re planning on driving to visit family and friends, keep your pet’s needs in mind.
Be sure to keep your pet properly secured in a car seat and well hydrated. Plan for regular pit stops to potty, snack and stretch.
Explore boarding options
Many pets would rather opt out of parties and travel altogether. Finding a trustworthy boarder can save a lot of headaches during the holidays.
How are you preparing your pet for the holidays? Let us know on Facebook at @NationwidePet.
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