You’re not the only one who deals with holiday stress! Believe it or not, your pet can feel the tension too. That’s especially true if travel is involved, or if you’re hosting guests in your home. These tips can help you and your pet cope with the extra anxiety that we all feel at this time of year.
Consider your travel options. Taking your pet along is more fun for you, but is it best for them? If your pet is very stressed by travel, leaving them at home with a sitter might be a better option. After all, pets won’t know that they missed a special holiday. They will miss you, of course. But they might truly prefer to stay at home within a peaceful environment.
If you do travel with your pet… Do so safely. Use a proper travel crate to keep your pet safe. Remember to bring a leash for walks, and a bowl for frequent water breaks. If you’re flying with your pet, be sure to review your airline’s rules. Include extra potty pads in the bottom of your dog’s crate.
And no matter how you travel, your pet should be wearing an ID tag (microchipping is smart too). Anything could happen and losing your pet far from home is the last thing you want.
Provide your pet a hideaway. If you’re the one hosting the family holiday gathering, make sure your pet has a quiet hideaway to escape the commotion. Choose a room away from the main party area, such as a laundry room, and stash your pet along with their favorite bedding, toys, and a few treats. Visit often to reassure them.
Remember medications. If your pet takes any medications, make sure to pack those for your trip. If your pet is staying home, make a medication schedule for the sitter and be sure to stock up on meds before you leave.
Keep your eyes open. If your pet is in an unfamiliar environment, there will be new things to explore. Stay on guard for poisonous plants, choking hazards, escape routes, and foods that could be harmful.
Stick to your routine. Whether you keep your pet at home or allow them to tag along on vacation, try to stick closely to your usual routine. This will help them to feel safe and keep anxiety at a minimum.
And of course, give us a call if you have any other questions about your pet and anxiety. We can help you determine the cause of any concerning behaviors and then make a plan to address the problem.
Another resource to reduce stress in your pet is Fear Free Happy Homes website.