Pet Medical Amy R. Nickels,  DVM

Although the holidays may be an exciting time of year for you, your pets may find the festivities a little overwhelming. Even normally well-behaved pets can experience some 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

While you may welcome the visits from friends and family members, your pets may experience anxiety due to the steady stream of unfamiliar faces. Pets express anxiety in a variety of ways; some may become aggressive, while others may hide or shy away from strangers. Creating a guest-free haven in your home will give your pet the opportunity to escape these stressful situations. Add a comfy resting spot, food, water, a litter box, and a few toys to a quiet room in your home when you are expecting guests. Place your pets in the room before guests arrive, but be sure to check on them throughout the visit or party.

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 that your pet already knows to visit you well before the holiday season begins. During the visit, ask your friend to love on your pet and offer a treat. Continue to add several people that your pet already knows, and then add a few newcomers. Every time an introduction is made, give your pet a treat so a positive association is made.

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 gathering to be a problem for your anxious pet, consider asking your veterinarian to prescribe a stress remedy. We recommend using Sileo, the first FDA approved treatment for noise aversion in dogs, associated with fear and anxiety. Could you use a little assistance helping your furry friend handle holiday disruptions? Call us today at (931) 393-2707 to schedule a convenient appointment!