Reducing Anxiety for your Pets at Christmas

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Christmas can be a busy time, as we are all trying to fit in seeing as many friends and family as possible. Whilst this can be a fun and happy time for us, our pets can find it quite stressful especially if they are not familiar with our visitors. It’s important to take steps to keep your pet happy, not just for them, but to ensure you and your guests feel comfortable too.

Keeping their routine

Christmas can completely change our pet’s routine so it is important to try and stick to the ‘normal’ as much as possible. Try and stick to their meal times and ensure you are walking your dog as much as you normally would.

Pay Them Plenty of Attention

Your pet might show hostility towards guests if they feel they are being pushed aside, so you should take time to reassure them that they still matter to you. Play with them and make a fuss when your guests aren’t there to show that you have not forgotten about them, in spite of all the festive mayhem.

Exercise Them

Keeping your dog well-exercised is a great way to keep them calm, even if there are lots of people coming and going. Not only are you spending quality time with your pet as you walk them, you are also keeping their mind stimulated, meaning they are less likely to become irritable when guests are around.

Keep Food and Water Bowls Full

Ensure that your pet is kept well-fed and watered, and consider keeping them out of the room when you and your guests are eating. This will prevent them from reacting badly when a guest denies them a nibble of their mince pie!

For cats, you should consider moving their food and water bowls to a quiet room where they can eat away from the guests to help reduce any anxiety they may be feeling. This should also be the same for their litter trays if these are used.

Give Them A Safe Space Retreat

Even the friendliest of pets can become irritable when they are tired, which might mean they display unfriendly characteristics to guests. Giving your pet a safe space for them to escape when it gets too much can prevent this from happening. This area would ideally be away from anywhere that visitors might gather and should be filled with their favourite blankets and toys to help them relax. Your pet should be able to access this area whenever they please, with the option of joining the party if they want to- they may become more frustrated if they feel they are being locked away.

Other things to remember

Although fuss is welcomed from you, cuddles, strokes and being picked up by unfamiliar guests could irritate and upset your pet. Try to discourage your guests from fussing too much over your pets unless they are happy for the attention.

Remember children cannot always read the signs of an anxious or irritable pet, so ensure any of your smaller guests are aware too.

If you’re still worried, there are a whole host of solutions to help ease anxiety and stress for your pet at Animed Direct.

Shop Anxiety solutions for Dogs

Shop Anxiety solutions for Cats