Sunday, November 23, 2008

Save Pets from Stress During the Holiday Season

(ARA) - ‘Tis the season for holiday cheer with Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching quite near. End-of-the-year festivities may bring friends and families closer, but with all of the season’s hustle and bustle, many pets may become overwhelmed and confused or exhibit negative behaviors resulting from unfamiliar sounds, smells and visitors that surround them before the New Year.

“Holidays can be a hectic time for everyone, including the family pet, which is why it’s important to make sure pets receive the attention and care they need amidst this busy time of year,” says certified veterinary technician and dog trainer, Gayle DiMenna. “Providing consistency for your pet by maintaining the same feeding and exercise schedule will lessen your pet’s stress and confusion.”

“During the holidays we always have friends and family over, which is difficult for our dog who is very shy and tentative around strangers,” says Jill Diffendaffer, pet parent to beagle-dachshund mix, Gracie. “We’ve found over the past couple of years that by planning ahead for guests and setting aside some play time for Gracie, the holidays are much more enjoyable for everyone.”

To ensure your pets have a happy, safe and low stress holiday, take extra care for your pet and plan ahead with these simple solutions:

* Try to maintain your pet’s usual routine, including consistent feeding, play and exercise schedules.

* If possible, try to exercise your pet, especially dogs, before guests come over to help decrease any hyperactivity and stress.

* Consider leashing your dog before opening the door for visitors to ensure greater control over your pet and to prevent escapes.

* Dogs tend to pant more when they become stressed. Be sure to keep water readily available to prevent dehydration.

* Prepare a quiet place for your pet to use as a retreat when holiday activities and guests become overwhelming.

* Try a pheromone-based product, such as Comfort Zone with D.A.P. for dogs and Comfort Zone with Feliway for cats, which can calm and soothe pets having trouble coping with holiday stress.

* Never leave your pet alone with unfamiliar children, regardless of how well behaved your pet is, to avoid potential incidents.

* Make sure your pet wears his tags at all times in case he escapes from the house or yard.

* Do not let guests feed your pet food from their plates, which can be hazardous to your pet’s health. Instead, leave treats out for your guests to give to your favorite furry friends as a reward for good behavior.

Pet parents looking for additional tips and advice can visit for more information.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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1 comment:

Jill R. said...

What a wonderful article!

Most often when we think of stress, we think of ourselves... humans. But this is a great reminder to keep an eye out for stress signals from the other members of our family.