Keep Your Pets Calm During the Holiday Season with These Tips

Pug on cozy fur rug with fall leaves.

Although the holidays may be an exciting time of the year for you, your pets may find the festivities a little overwhelming. Even normally well-behaved pets can experience a little anxiety when their usual routines are disrupted. These tips will help you ensure that your furry friends truly enjoy the holiday season.

Create a Haven

The holidays are the perfect time to catch up with friends and family members you have not seen in a while. While you may welcome the visits, your pets may experience anxiety due to the steady stream of unfamiliar faces. Pets express anxiety in a variety of ways. Some become more aggressive, while others hide or shy away from strangers.

Creating a guest-free haven in your home will give your pets the opportunity to escape stressful situations. Add a comfortable resting spot, food, water, and a few toys to a quiet room in your home when you are expecting guests. Place your pets in the room before guest arrive, but be sure to check on them periodically throughout the visit or party. If you have cats, add a litter box to the room.

Improve Your Pet's Socialization Skills

If guests are a regular occurrence in your home, it may make sense to help your pets adjust to the idea of strangers in their territory. Ask a friend your pet knows to visit you well before the holiday season begins. During the visit, ask him or her to pet your friend and offer a treat. Add several people that your pet knows to the next training session then add a friend your pet has never met to the mix. Every time an introduction is made, give your pet a treat so that they develop a positive association with meeting new people. If your pet doesn't warm up to the idea, take advantage of your pet-friendly haven during holiday events.

Do Not Introduce New Pets During the Holidays

The holidays are not the ideal time to make a furry addition to your family. During the chaotic holiday period, it's hard to give enough attention to your current pets, let alone help both new and old pets adjust to new circumstances. If you have been considering getting a new pet, postpone the new addition until after the holidays.

Help Your Pet Handle the Noise

Parties mean lots of noise, even if your pet spends the evening away from your guests. If you anticipate a noisy New Year's Eve to be a problem for your anxious pet, consider using an over-the-counter pet stress remedy or ask your veterinarian to prescribe a sedative.

Does your pet hate fireworks and firecrackers? Gradually desensitize your furry friend to the noise by playing a recording of fireworks for a few seconds then offer a treat. Once your pet can successfully sit through a few seconds of the recording without fear or anxiety, gradually increase the length of time you play the recording. Some dogs feel calmer if they wear ThunderShirts during fireworks. The shirts apply gentle pressure and work the same way swaddling a baby does.

Protect Your Pet from Common Holiday Dangers

Holidays are a particularly dangerous time for pets. Keep your pet safe during the holiday season by following these suggestions.

  • Keep Gift Wrapping Supplies Out of Reach

Ribbon or string can wrap around your pet's intestines if swallowed and also pose a strangulation risk. Store wrapping supplies out of your pet's reach, and throw away discarded wrapping paper and ribbon immediately after opening gifts.

  • Prevent Tree-Related Accidents

Cats love to climb Christmas trees, but a quick scramble up the branches can knock the tree over. Prevent tree mishaps be securing it to the wall or ceiling. Surround your tree with a baby gate or pen to prevent your dog from knocking it over.

  • Use Care with Cords and Candles

Gnawing on an electrical cord can shock or even kill your pet. Place cords in PVC piping or special cord protectors. Keep lit candles out of the reach of pets or use battery-operated versions instead.

Could you use a little assistance helping your pet handle holiday disruptions? Call us today to schedule a convenient appointment.




Sources:

Cesar’s Way: Keeping Your Dog Safe When the Fireworks Start

https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/hyperactivity-overexcitement/how-to-keep-your-dog-safe-and-calm-during-fireworks

The Association of Professional Dog Trainers: Dog Safety Tips for the Holidays

https://apdt.com/resource-center/dog-safety-tips-holidays/

Drs. Foster and Smith: How to Keep Pets Calm During the Holidays

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/PIC/article.cfm?dept_id=&aid=148

ASPCA: Holiday Safety Tips

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/holiday-safety-tips

ThunderShirt: Home Page

http://www.thundershirt.com/thundershirt/for-dog-by-variation.html

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  • "2 years ago
    Deeply appreciate humbled vets such as Pet Care Clinic. I have been to several other vets in the valley. And always felt this pressure of highway robbery. It’s as though they would pray on your love for your sweet animal to reem as much money as possible out of you during your visit.
    This place does not do that. They genuinely Care about you and your family. Our cat has been diagnosed with a unfortunate heart condition that will potentially result in his death. Rather than being referred to a cardiologist and having a bunch a test done that would leave me with no choices other than a $4000 surgery this vet gave me the tools and confidence to care for my animal at home until he passes.
    I like that they didn’t pressure me to do a bunch of things that won’t change the outcome of my animal. I like that their visits are an affordable $50. They are easy to schedule with and we enjoy the professionalism of their stuff. Highly recommend!"
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  • "2 years ago
    The staff is wonderful, friendly and kind. The doctor was fantastic, ready to answer any questions as well add giving helpful advice. The prices are okay. They have treats and goodies after the visit and the most important thing is they were professional and caring with our puppy.
    I highly recommend the Pet Care Clinic."
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    I live in Nampa and I drive clear to kuna just to have these guys take care of my dogs. The best around friendly knowledgeable and they love animals."
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    Excellent pet care!"
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  • "6 months ago
    These people are GREAT! I needed to get my cat in quickly and they made time for him and me. So appreciated them doing that for us. Will be using them as are permanent vet.
    Totally recommend!"
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  • "8 months ago
    Very meticulous and caring people. Treated our old cat and helped us keep him happy until it was the time for him to cross the Rainbow Bridge. Even then they were respectful and sympathetic with our grief and gave us all the time we needed to say goodbye. They were careful with him and gently put him under anesthesia. He passed quietly and with the dignity he deserved, sounded by the people who loved him. During the whole process they were very caring and interested in his comfort and ours. I can't recommend them enough."
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    The version here are awesome super neat staff I love going here."
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  • "2 months ago
    Positive: Professionalism, Quality
    Today was my first visit, I thought all the staff were very knowledgeable and made the experience comfortable. They answered all my questions and I am so relieved to have found a place I can take my fur babies. I Would definitely recommend Pet Care Clinic to my family and friends and hope to continue working together for a very long time!!!!"
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  • "3 weeks ago
    Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Reliability, Responsiveness, Value
    I took my 14 year old cat in for a exam and labwork. Dr Britton and her staff were so welcome and friendly. They gave great service for an excellent price. My cat was so nervous, but Bree was great at making him feel right at home. I definitely recommend this vet clinic!"
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  • "a month ago
    Just had our 3rd trip to pet care clinic for our cat and they are fantastic. Really great local animal care. We are so grateful they're close to our home as well."
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  • "a month ago
    We moved out of state to Kuna with our cat. We were looking for a place for her check-up appointment and we’re so glad we found this place. Our cat is incredibly anxious, but they took great care of her by providing a soft rug for her to sit on and a towel for her to “hide” under. They treated her with top of the line care and made sure she was comfortable. We will be back!"
    Tom Essig
  • "a month ago
    Great service. Had been going to the same vet in East Boise since 93, after moving to Kuna decided the drive wasn't worth it. Glad I changed, only went twice before having to put my 14 year old dog down. The day that I knew it was time was a Saturday morning and I pleaded my case. They fit me in at the end of the day, it was calm and the most relaxed I had seen my girl in the last couple weeks. I appreciated them squeezing her in and being so kind about it. Will take all future pets there."
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  • "3 months ago
    I absolutely love this family vet team! Moving to a new state was difficult. I knew I had to find my new favorite places (bar, restaurants, shopping, boutiques, doctors, etc). However, on the top of the list was to find a great vet. Someone who would love my fur babies like I do. Someone who wasn't a doc in box and interested in assaulting my pocketbook.
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    I found my vet before I found a doctor for me cause my doggies care is important."
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