How to Keep Your Pets Calm During the Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us, and while that means delicious food and catching up with loved ones you don’t get to see often, it also can be a time of stress for people and pets alike.

You may have your own ways of coping with stress during the holidays, but have you thought about how you can help your pets cope with their stress? If your pet just isn’t down to party, these tips can help them (and you) make it through the season stress-free.

1. Create a dedicated pet space

This tip is especially important if you’re hosting during this holiday season. One simple way to reduce your pets’ stress is to give them their own safe space. That might just be setting up their crate nicely, but it could also mean designating one room of the house as the pet zone.

Whichever you opt for, make sure it’s comfortable, quiet, and that your pet has some toys to play with. Bonus points for giving them some treats to snack on!

2. Know which foods are unsafe

The holidays are full of delicious foods and the spirit of sharing, but that doesn’t mean you should share with your pet. Your pet getting into things they shouldn’t can cause major stress for both you and your pet, so make sure you and your guests know which foods are and aren’t safe.

Or, to play it extra safe, ask everyone to not feed Fido, no matter how sweetly he looks at them. If you need a food safety refresher, we have a list for you right here.

3. Get some energy out in advance

If you’ll be heading out for a day of holiday festivities and can’t bring your pet along, make sure to set aside some time for play or an extended walk. Getting thorough exercise early in the day can reduce nervous energy that your pets may have later in the day.

If your schedule is too jam-packed, hire a local walker to help reduce stress all around.

4. Keep a supplement on hand

Some pets experience higher levels of anxiety. So if your pets need an extra bit of support, try a calming supplement. For maximum effect, give your pet their supplement at least 30 minutes before things start winding up. If you can sense their anxiety rising earlier than that, consider scheduling some doses in the days leading up to your holiday gathering — just follow the dosing instructions!

5. Maintain their routine

Holiday travel will likely require you to change your schedule, even if just for a day or two. But even small shifts in routine can cause stress for pets, so try to maintain a sense of normalcy whenever possible.

That might mean walking them at the same times you typically would or keeping their feeding schedule the same. If you’re going out of town and leaving your pets behind, getting an in-home overnight sitter can ensure that your pets get the same level of love and affection that they do when you’re home.

6. Use proper carriers

Holiday traffic can be stressful as-is. If you’re traveling by car and bringing your pets along, the safest way to do so is with a carrier that is secured inside your vehicle.

It may be cute for your pet to sit on your lap, but they can distract you from safely driving, block your vision, and even accidentally move the gearshift. So, when you’re packing your bags, pack a crate or carrier.

From our Pawsitively Professional family to yours, we wish you a happy and stress-free holiday season!

Posted by
Cassandra Corrado