Pet Behavior Digest - My Newsletter For Pet Owners and Pet Lovers 

Holidays Can Be Stressful For Our Pets Too!

Just thinking about the holidays brings up anxiety for many of us. What "should be" a joyful time of year can evoke all types of emotions, not only for us, but for our pets as well. If the holidays make us feel sad, anxious, angry, or hurried, our pets will probably sense our distress too.


Xmas trees, holiday decorations, and many kinds of food can be toxic and cause serious problems for our pets. For example, the ornaments and tinsel decorating our trees are extremely harmful to our dogs and cats. If we leave our animals unsupervised and they ingest these festive items, the consequences could be fatal. Spending the holiday at the pet emergency hospital is something we want to avoid!


We can make the holidays less difficult for our animal companions with good planning. We might use a crate, baby gate, or a leash to control our pets' access to dangerous objects and food. Also, with so many activities on our schedules, our pets may need more exercise than usual to compensate for our distractions and possible lack of patience with them. We might awake fifteen minutes earlier to fit in a nice walk or a good game of fetch. Making time to exercise our pets, groom them, or work on some basic obedience commands with them will result in the holidays feeling more pleasant and less out of control for us as well.


An unruly petʼs behavior may not seem like a significant problem until we are busy or having guests in our home. A dog who jumps up on people may appear to be simply playful until the animal jostles frail Grandma Betty who is visiting for the holidays. If you begin planning and preparing your pet now for the holidays ahead, both you and your dog or cat will be more relaxed and have a truly enjoyable festive season!