Minimizing Holiday Stress for Your Pet

Posted: 11/30/2012

As Christmas and the new year quickly approach, everyone is planning holiday parties or trips to spend time with friends and family. Just as the holidays are stressful for humans, pets can also experience a lot of anxiety around the holidays due to changes in their routine.

Here are some tips for easing the holiday stress for your four-legged friend:

  • Visitors-Many people host holiday parties or have relatives stay for Christmas. Since your pet may not be used to having so many people around, it is necessary to prepare him or her for whatever situation may occur. You consider your pet a member of the family and want to have him or her around when you are celebrating, but your visitors may not be accustomed to having pets around. Because of this, it is necessary to go over some basic obedience skills for a week or two before your guests arrive. Reviewing basic commands such as "sit" and "stay" can be very helpful if your pet starts to get too excited around new people. If you happen to know right away that your pet will not be able to control their excitment during a holiday party, you should make arrangments for him or her to have a safe, comfortable place to be during the time of your gathering. This could be a quiet room in your house, a neighbor's house, or even at our Dog Daycare.
  • Traveling-If you are the party that will be traveling this season and you plan to take your pet along, make sure you make arrangements for a safe ride. Your pet should always be in a crate in your vehicle so he or she cannot be roaming freely around the vehicle. This is to ensure that they are not jostled around if an accident should occur. It also ensures your pet's security if you stop at a rest stop, because you won't have to worry about him or her jumping out of the car and running into traffic. if a pet crate cannot fit in your vehicle, purchase an appropriate pet harness to be attached to the seat/seatbelt of your vehcle. Just as it is important for humans to wear their seatbelt in the car, pets also need to be secured.
  • Holiday Boarding-If you know your pet does not travel well, you should make early arrangements for their holiday boarding. We offer holiday boarding and Daycare to pets who are better left in a quiet environment rather than traveling to a foreign place. Before you decide to board your pet, make sure your pet is in a healthy condition, non-anxious condition so that he or she can have a pleasant boarding experience. If you have any questions regarding our boarding, or would like to make a reservation, call us at (605) 361-0006.
  • Keep the Routine-The best thing you can do for your pet is to keep your routine. The holidays are a busy time and everyone has packed schedules, but your pet will be appreciative, happy and healthy if he or she is able to be fed and walked at usual times. It is also important to make time for your pet during the holiday season. Pets rely on their owner to take care of them and love them, so make sure your pet gets quality attention during this busy time.