When we talk about love and relationships undergoing stress during the holidays, we want to include our beloved pets in this scenario as well! Halloween to New Years’ can be a particularly tough time on household pets, especially with parties, house guests, and distracted owners. Fortunately there are a number of things we can do to relieve the stresses and dangers to our pets. With a little preparation, you and your pets can be full of good cheer.We can all experience stress during the holidays. It can be a very hectic time so how does this affect your pet? First of all, our pets are empathic. All animals are. Our pets have a special energetic and feeling connection into us and can feel our emotions. If we are stressed, our pets are stressed. If we are calm and happy, our pets are calm and happy.Secondly, it is always better to prevent problems and stress behavior with your pet rather than solve it after it happens, especially during the holidays. Watch for the warning signs of pet stress and reduce it fast and early. To be able to reduce the stress your pet experiences you have to know what generally stresses them out. The top pet stressors are:
- Guests coming and going for a party.
- Relatives coming and going for an extended visit.
- Changes in daily habits such as walking and feeding times.
- High levels of stress and anxiety in pet owners and family members.
- Holiday travel plans that include or do not include your pet.
- Snacks and food that the pet is offered that they normally do not eat.
Recognize the symptoms of stress early:
- Hyper-salivation or drooling
- Soiling the pet owner’s belongings
- Chewing or scratching at doors or crate
- Non-stop howling, barking, meowing
- Compulsive grooming or licking
- Tearing up furniture or pushing items off counters
Preventing stress in you pet is the best way to handle things. Prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the old saying goes:
- Keep the walks, play times or exercise at the same time as always. This will help keep the pet grounded and have something he will look forward to.
- DO NOT change meal times especially at this time of year. It could be way too much for your pet to handle.
- Spend 20 minutes a day just sitting with your pet relaxing. We all need time to regroup during the Holidays this will not only help the pet but will help you relax, too. If your seems a little anxious or stressed give a big sigh, as this is therapeutic for everyone. Do this at least once a day during stressful times.
- When your pet shows signs of stress DO NOT coddle them or feel sorry for them. Play with them or walk them if applicable. Exercise is a major stress release for any animal.
This holiday, take charge of your stress and your pet’s stress by keeping it low from the very start. You both will enjoy yourself more!