Holidays are a festive, joyous time to visit your loved ones, travel, or host holiday parties. But while the holiday season can leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling, the chaos that comes with it might not be as good for your pets.
Between changes in routines and schedules, new visitors, and holiday decorations, dogs and cats tend to experience heightened stress levels around the holidays. Here’s what you need to know to help your pets avoid stress during the holiday season.
Decorate with caution.
When putting up decorations, hang fragile ornaments out of reach and fasten glass ornaments to tree branches with wire. Glass ornaments can break easily, and glass shards can injure your pets if they walk through them or eat them. Additionally, although live mistletoe and holly are beautiful, they’re highly poisonous to cats and dogs. If you’re set on incorporating plants into your holiday decorations, silk plants are a safer choice.
If you’re planning to decorate with candles, make sure they’re out of reach. When strategically placed throughout your home, candles can add a warm, festive sparkle. However, if they’re too close to the ground, a wagging tail can knock them over. To avoid this issue, opt for a strand of LED Christmas lights. Not only do Christmas lights come in a wide variety of vibrant, festive colors, but they’re also safer for pets — as long as you’re sure to keep electrical cords out of reach. Check out online options to find the right holiday lights for you and your pet, whether that’s mini lights, multicolor lights or any other type of light that will bring the Christmas light to your home.
Let guests know about your furry friend.
If you’re hosting a holiday party, be sure to let your guests know that you have pets. If someone has an allergy, talk to them beforehand to avoid any difficulties during the party. Discourage your guests from feeding your dog scraps from your holiday dinner. Many common holiday foods, such as chocolate — and even turkey — can be harmful to pets.
Even if your pet knows all of your guests, having a lot of visitors around can be stressful. If the company becomes overstimulating, put your dog or cat in a warm, quiet room with water, litter (if you have a cat), and their favorite toy or blanket. Alternatively, if you’re planning to leave your pet out with guests, make sure they have safe hideaways to relax.
You should also keep a close eye on the doors. If your pet becomes too stressed, they’ll attempt to dart outside to escape the situation. If you’re worried about this, keeping your pet in a closed-off room is the best option.
Don’t leave your pet home alone.
If you’re traveling for the holiday, you’ll need to decide whether to bring your pets along with you or leave them with a sitter. Although this decision largely depends on your situation, there are a few general trends. While cats tend to handle alone time fairly well with the help of a sitter, dogs typically require more attention.
If you decide to take your pet with you, make sure to pack their ID tags, as well as copies of vet documents showing that they’re up-to-date on vaccinations. If they’re microchipped, ensure the microchip has your contact information embedded.
If your furry friend has travel anxiety, consider asking your vet about pet relief CBD oil. In 2019, the TSA changed its guidelines for traveling with CBD oil, including CBD oil for pets. According to TSA guidelines, as long as the CBD oil is derived from hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC content, it’s fine to pack on a domestic flight.
As a natural, holistic remedy, CBD oil features nutrients, good proteins, and fatty acids, along with the CBD hemp extract. Before your flight, remember to do a trial with your pet, especially if you’ve never administered CBD oil to them. Every pet responds differently to CBD supplements, and some pets require higher doses than others.
The holidays can be a busy time for us all, and that can create stress in our furry friends. As the holiday season approaches, it’s essential to take the right precautions to protect your pet.