The holidays can be a very exciting yet stressful time for everyone, including family pets. There are several things that can be done to help alleviate anxiety in pets. The staff at Back on Track Veterinary Hospital offers a few strategies to keep in mind at this time of year.
Try to keep pets’ routines on a regular schedule. This includes feeding and exercise times. “Additionally, exercise can be a very effective stress reliever for not only us, but our pets as well,” said Dr. Tiffani Witten, owner and medical director of Back on Track. “Making time to regularly walk your dog outdoors around nature will lift his mood and maybe yours as well! If indoors, there are several mentally stimulating puzzle games and toys available.”
Holiday guests and extra activities can also be stressful for pets. Providing them a safe and quiet place to retreat can help. This might include a kennel for a dog or a high place to escape for a cat.
There are several non-drug products that may help to reduce anxiety and stress in pets. A pheromone spray that mimics their mom’s smell can help to bring anxiety down a notch. Spray it in their travel kennel or on their favorite toy from home about five minutes prior to leaving for travel. These products also come as a diffuser plug-in that lasts about 30 days. Plug the diffuser in around the spaces where pets spend the most time. Putting pets with sensitive stomachs on species specific probiotics can aid to reduce stomach upset. “Thundershirts, which apply a gentle constant pressure to the torso, may also create a soothing effect for some pets,” added Dr. Witten. “Also, research has proven that certain classical music can relax our pets. Ask your veterinarian for help if you need it.”
“We wish your family and pets a wonderful and stress free holiday!”