It may seem hard to believe, but the holidays are just around the corner. Amongst the rush of shopping, preparations and visiting with family and friends, it is easy to forget that the holidays affect all family members – even the furry ones. Here are a few tips to help you and your furry friends survive the holidays as a team.
Stick to the Routine
This may be difficult as your calendar fills, but keep the daily routine as much as possible. Skipped walks, sporadic feedings, and reduced training and play opportunities can cause significant stress in your pet. This in turn can result in “misbehavior” as he or she tries desperately to get your attention and return to the usual rhythm.
Plenty of Exercise Will Help You Both
We have all heard that 30 minutes of walking helps reduce stress. This is true for you and your pet. Make time to walk or play together and to help you both de-stress. Take this opportunity to bond, and your pet won’t feel lost in the hubbub.
Give Your Pet Appropriate Outlets
Whether a cat, dog, or smaller species, pets need plenty of mental stimulation to keep from getting bored, and boredom becomes misbehavior quite easily. Be proactive. Provide environmental enrichment such as stuffed food toys, cat trees with plenty of toys hanging, or puzzle toys appropriate to your pet.
We All Need a Break
When entertaining, be sure to provide a space away from the crowd where your pet can take a break and relax. The noise and activity of any get together can be overwhelming for even the best behaved pet.
Most importantly, if your pet is already exhibiting behavior issues, seek the help of a qualified professional before the holiday rush. It is always best to get small problems under control before they become major issues. © LVPSM