Christmas is coming and after a difficult pandemic year, many of us feel it is an ideal opportunity to celebrate with each other as much as we can. Our precious pets are part of the family and while some enjoy the additional activity many others find Christmas a stressful time.
What can increase stress for pets at Christmas?
Decorations – Pretty for us to look at but can be frightening to pets. Pets might also be fascinated with the decorations and accidentally ingest them causing serious damage.
Visitors – Coming and going can be disruptive to your pet’s usual routine. Nervous pets may be overwhelmed by lots of different people in the home and increased noise levels.
Excitable children – They love Christmas, but all the excitement increases the level of noise in the home, triggering stress. Children may want to play with the pet, but it might not be used to children and get nervous.
Owners going away – Either going on holiday or just out for the day, leaving the pet alone longer than normal increases anxiety. Pets may also have to go into kennels/cattery or be left with a ‘stranger’ looking after them in the home.
Fireworks – These loud sudden explosions and flashes in the sky cause intense anxiety for animals, causing them to shake uncontrollably, hide or flee.
How do I know if my pet is stressed?
Panting, lip licking, over grooming, hiding away, trembling, shaking, shivering, toileting within the house, or destructive behaviour
What ways can I minimise Christmas stress?