With the cold seasons comes a lot of festive celebration, and sometimes worry for our pets. With Bonfire Night, Loud Christmas Parties and Late Night fireworks at the Stroke of Midnight New Years Eve this is a time that can be quite stressful for pets of all shapes and sizes.
Creating a Safe Space for Cats and Dogs is Essential
Think about your walking times the weekend before and after celebrated holidays. If your pet is out when it starts to get dark they might be jittery and nervous as their senses are heightened and will be aware of unusual sights and smell from Fireworks and loud party-goers.
It is best to stay home with your pet and praise them for good and calm behaviour. Keep pets distracted: reassure them with praise and cuddles. If they are being overly dependent this is because they feel you are a safe place and is a positive thing for the pet. If you have to leave, be prepared for them to act out in a negative manner such as having an accident in the house or tearing at furniture. This is due to them feeling stressed, shouting at them will only make the situation worse and frighten them more.
You may want to consider using a relaxant remedy or maybe stockpiling their favourite Treats if your dog or cat is so distressed that they are doing themselves harm. It is best to talk this through with your vet a few weeks beforehand, however.
How Can I Prepare my Home?
If your pet is whining, pacing, hiding or are showing physical anxiety, let your pet act this way, do not try to break their coping mechanism, let it play out. Be near them if they want you, but do not try to disturb them, it is just their way of trying to feel safe.
That is not to say do not go out and enjoy yourself in the merriment and celebrations, but consider how your guinea pig, gerbil, rabbit, cat, dog, chickens, horses or other pet's feelings about the whole ordeal of bright lights and loud noises. If possible bring them inside for the festive period and let them join in with their family instead.