The end of year holiday season is one of the most anticipated seasons, but it can be stressful for both pets and pet parents. Use the five tips below to ease some of the anxiety for your dog and cat!
1. Release Pent Up Energy with Exercise
A few things happen to most families during the holidays.
- The weather gets colder so time outdoors with pets gets shorter
- More friends and family members come over to visit than any other time of year
- You spend more time out of the home due to holiday parties, etc.
Between less outdoor exercise and more exciting things going on inside the house, your pet will likely need an outlet for some pent up energy to curb bad behavior.
If it’s too cold to go outdoors for extended periods of time, come up with fun games you can play indoors.
Small dogs and cats can play fetch indoors, and Tug of War is a great game to play inside.
There are also plenty of mentally stimulating puzzle games and toys available for pets such as the Kong.
It’s best to be able to get some physical exercise in so that your pet doesn’t start gaining weight, but mental exercise can work wonders on pets with pent up energy.
2. Stick to a Routine as much as Possible
During much of the year you probably walk your dog and feed your pets at the same time.
When the holidays came around these routine is often thrown off. Between vacations, parties and even some last minute late nights at work, your routine may get a few kinks in it.
This is understandable and it’s not bad. However, try to keep your pets routine as normal as possible. If walks vary in time and dinner comes at weird hours your pet may start exhibiting bad behavior that you’re not accustomed to.
Sticking to a routine should curb any behavioral problems.
3. If Traveling, Bring Comforts from Home
If you’ll be traveling with your pet this holiday season be sure to bring comforts from home. A favorite toy and some delicious treats will be welcomed once you arrive at your temporary destination.
When you arrive be sure to give your pet the grand tour. For dogs and cats this means showing them immediately where their food and water bowls will be placed. Cats should also be shown their way to the litter box.
Some pets will be leery of sharing bowls and a litter box with other pets they are not familiar with. You should have a backup plan if sharing won’t work.
4. Don’t Over-do it on the Treats
There’s no question that we sometimes overdo it when it comes to eating during the holidays.
Extra treats for us sometimes leads us to give extra treats to our pets. A few more table scraps or a few extra biscuits can lead to extra weight on your pet faster than it does for you since their body weight in general is much smaller to begin with.
Since Obesity is the #1 Health Issue threating your animals right now it’s best to treat your pet in moderation.
5. Give a Little Extra Love and Attention
During the holidays our attention is pulled in a hundred different directions all at once. Between shopping, cooking and spending time with family/friends our pets can feel a little neglected.
Be sure to spend lots of quality time with your pet – who is after all an important member of your family.