Reducing Anxiety for Pets at Christmas

calm cat and dog at christmas

Christmas can be a busy time with plenty to organise and lots of family members to see. This often means that normal routines are disrupted, and pets can feel stressed by these changes. To make sure your pet stays calm throughout the festive season, we’ve put together some handy tips.

Work on Reducing Anxiety for Pets at Christmas

Keep Up Their Routine

Christmas can have an impact on your pet’s routine. Changes to the usual schedule can result in feelings of anxiety and stress for cats and dogs, so it is important to try and stick to the ‘normal’ as much as possible. Keep their meal times and bed times the same and ensure you are walking your dog as you normally would.

Pay Them Plenty of Attention

Your cat or dog might show hostility towards guests if they feel they are being pushed aside over the Christmas period. So, you should take time to reassure them that they still matter to you. Play with them and pet them enough to show that you have not forgotten about them, in spite of all the festive mayhem.


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

Keep Your Pet Well-fed and Watered

Ensure that your pet has enough to eat and drink, and consider keeping them out of the room when you and your guests are eating. This will prevent any temptations and bad reactions when a guest denies them a nibble of their Christmas turkey!

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. If any of your cat’s litter trays are located in a room where lots of people will gather, you should move them somewhere else too.

Give Them a Safe Space to Retreat

Even the friendliest of pets can become irritable when they are tired, which might mean they display unfriendly characteristics to guests. Giving your cat or dog a safe space for them to escape to when it gets too much can prevent this from happening.

This area should 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 frustrated and stressed if they feel they are being locked away.

Be Aware that Attention from Guests Might Cause Anxiety

Although fuss is welcomed from you, cuddles, strokes and being picked up by unfamiliar guests could cause your pet irritation or anxiety. Try to discourage your guests from fussing too much over your cat or dog unless they are happy for the attention.

Remember, children cannot always read the signs of an anxious or irritable pet, so keep an eye on your smaller guests.

As well as following these tips, there are also a whole host of solutions to help ease anxiety and stress for your pet at Animed Direct. From calming diffusers to anxiety supplements, there are plenty of ways to support your pet over Christmas.

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