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

Contact Us Today!

Contact us using the form or call us at 804-741-3200.

Monday:

8:00am

6:00pm

Tuesday:

8:00am

6:00pm

Wednesday:

8:00am

6:00pm

Thursday:

8:00am

6:00pm

Friday:

8:00am

6:00pm

Saturday:

8:00am

12:00pm

Sunday:

Closed

Closed

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Dr. Evans was so patient and kind with our kitty "Cookie". Very caring and so helpful and answered many questions for me concerning her health. The office staff are kind, caring, and professional. The office is immaculate. I have never been to a vet where my pets and myself were treated so well. Love it and so glad to have found them. Best vet appointment ever!"
    Dorothy M.
  • "We have used the Q for over 15 years for our cats and our dogs. Dr. Mortimer is a genius at diagnosing and treating a wide array of issues, and we have relied on his skills to help our animals live to amazing ages. The staff is incredibly caring. They do everything possible to help when we call or come in with a sick animal. They truly care for our pets, and many of the staff will come out from the back to pet our dogs
    when they come in. They are so patient with shy animals like our ferally cat Stasha who needed laser treatments, and our Bagle Topsy who is afraid of her own shadow.Yes, they are not the cheapest vet in town, but they work with us on making a treatment plan we can afford, and we feel that the value and the care are well worth it. Thank you to everyone at the Q for their dedication and loving care."
    Sally M. / December 21, 2017
  • "Met with Dr. Hiser today for the first time. Everyone at the
    clinic--from the desk staff to the vet techs to the veterinarian were warm and welcoming. My dog Iris--who is often nervous around new people--was comfortable there and (I think) made a few new friends. Looking forward to a continued relationship with the clinic as my sweet girl grows up. Thanks, thanks thanks."
    Stephanie C. / June 27, 2018
  • "My three chihuahuas have been Dr. Mortimer's patients for over nine years. The expertise, love, and care demonstrated for each pet is extraordinary. The doctors and staff go the extra mile to help their patients and the parents. They are truly an amazing group that love and care for each pet. If there was a review rated outstanding, that would have been my choice!"
    Donna C. / June 10, 2018
  • "I would highly recommended QVH. All of the staff are so kind and compassionate. They are so willing to help and never mind answering any questions you may have, even if it's 100 questions they are so patient. They genuinely care and treat your pets as if they were their own. And I cannot say enough about Dr. Hiser. She is amazing. Even on her days off she would still call and check in on my dog. I am so appreciative of this place and the staff. It's a great feeling to be completely comfortable with putting your pets care in someone's else hands and trusting them to provide the best service."
    Taylor H. / August 25, 2018
  • "I have been seeing Dr. Evans for at least 20 years. Her manner, knowledge, staff and facility are exceptional. I am a health care provider myself and hold the care of my pets to the highest standards....and I have never had a second thought about the care or recommendations of Dr. Evans. I moved out of town 6 years ago....and drive 3 hours each way to see her."
    Kimberley W. / April 2, 2018
  • "Wouldn't trust my four-legged Kids to anyone else - they have guided us with all our dogs through the years. The entire staff is kind and patient with the animals (and their parents)."
    Karen K. / November 7, 2017

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

  • Fish

    If you’re thinking of getting a pet fish, you should know that your veterinarian has a lot of good advice about pet ownership. Fish can be very rewarding as pets, and you just may be surprised about how much fish actually interact with their owners. Here’s more valuable information about choosing ...

    Read More
  • Caring for Senior Cats

    Thanks to advancements in veterinary care, today’s cats can live well into their teen years. It is not uncommon for cats to live to be 18 or even older. However, in order for cats to live a long full life, they need proactive veterinary care to stay healthy. As cats age, they are at greater risk for ...

    Read More
  • Feline Stomatitis: Treatments

    Cats rarely display their pain, but cats with feline stomatitis are often the exception. If your cat appears to have mouth pain, is reluctant to eat, doesn't want to groom, is drooling, and doesn't want you to open its mouth, it may be suffering from this debilitating, degenerative oral condition, and ...

    Read More
  • Feline Leukemia Virus: What You Need to Know

    Feline leukemia (FeLV) is a virus that weakens your cat's immune system. Unfortunately, when the immune system does not function properly, your cat may be more likely to develop other diseases, such as cancer and blood disorders. How Cats Contract Feline Leukemia Cats get feline leukemia from other cats. ...

    Read More
  • Family Cats and Pregnant Women: Take Measures to Prevent Toxoplasmosis Infection

    Nothing must spoil the joys of becoming a new parent. Not even your pets. But family cats with normal, every day habits can pose a risk to expectant women. Women's immune systems can be disturbed by a parasite carried in fecal matter. If you're the primary caretaker of your family's feline friend it ...

    Read More
  • Create an Environment Your Cat Will Love

    The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery confirms that feline emotional wellbeing, behavior and physical health are a result of how comfortable they are in their environment. Understanding how our cats interact with their environment can help us create a space for owners and cats to mutually thrive ...

    Read More
  • Catnip: Why Cats Love It

    Few things stimulate a cat's pleasure faster than catnip. Exposure to this simple herb can reveal a new side to their feline personality. Many cats will go crazy at the smell of this plant. Catnip has a reputation of being a feline drug and many cat owners wonder if it is safe to give it to their pet. ...

    Read More
  • Zoonosis

    Zoonosis refers to diseases that can be transmitted to humans from animals. In particular, they occur when an infected animal passes on bacteria, parasites, fungi or viruses to humans through scratches, saliva, feces and urine. Vectors (e.g., organisms like fleas and ticks) can also carry zoonotic diseases ...

    Read More
  • Sugar Gliders

    Thinking of getting a sugar glider? These tiny marsupials are energetic and friendly, making them popular choices as pets. Though they weigh less than a half-pound, they're more closely related to kangaroos than they are flying squirrels. If you think a sugar glider would make an ideal pet for your family, ...

    Read More
  • Epilepsy

    Epilepsy (often referred to as a seizure disorder) is a chronic neurological condition characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures. It is commonly controlled with medication, although surgical methods are used as well. Epileptic seizures are classified both by their patterns of activity in the brain ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles