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Holidays With Anxious Pets

December 1, 2023

The holidays can be a wonderful time of year, but they can also be a bit stressful. Your furry friend may not have to worry about things like shopping or baking, but they can also be affected by the commotion caused by all of that hustle and bustle. This can be particularly trying for pets that are anxious to begin with. Here, a Burlington, ON vet discusses spending the holidays with a scaredy-cat (or scaredy-dog).

Try To Keep A Steady Schedule

Our four-legged friends always feel safer and more secure on steady schedules. That can be difficult at this time of year. The holidays can turn anyone’s routine upside down. Try to avoid disrupting Fido and Fluffy’s routines.

Decorate Carefully

Older pets aren’t as playful as kittens and puppies, but they do have their moments. It’s best to err on the side of caution. As you decorate, keep anything that could be unsafe out of paws’ reach. That includes anything ropy or stringy, such as lights, tinsel, ribbons, and popcorn strands; small or sharp objects, like ornaments and ornament hooks; candles; and many plants, such as poinsettias, holly, ivy, and mistletoe. Keep in mind that some pets can be frightened by loud or flashy decorations, like that singing Santa or the reindeer that lights up. If your furry pal seems scared of something, put it in a spot they won’t see or hear it as much.

Offer Safe Spaces

Some pets enjoy interacting with guests, especially if that means extra treats and attention. However, older pets often get tired out quickly. If you’re having a holiday party, offer Fido and Fluffy a quiet spot to retreat to if they want to sit out the festivities. Put bedding, toys, and other necessities in a back bedroom, and turn on a radio to cover the noise.

Consider Petsitters

Travel can be difficult for older animals. Think twice before bringing Fluffy and Fido on long-distance trips. Boarding or petsitting are better options. Boarding has the advantage of providing ongoing care from trained professionals. This may be the best bet for pets with medical issues. You can also hire someone to stay at your place, and look after your pet and your belongings.

Choose Appropriate Gifts

When shopping for Fido and Fluffy, look for presents that will offer comfort. Stuffed animals are a good bet. Your pet may also enjoy a pet tent, calming pheromones, or a weighted shirt.

Happy Holidays! Please contact us, your Burlington, ON animal hospital, anytime!

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