Bark, howl at bells, pesky doorbells, visitors come, holiday fun. The time has come. Some folks wait around all year for the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to arrive while others are just ready for January 1st. Despite which side of the fence you are on, chances are you are already feeling some of that holiday stress. 

As hectic as holidays are for humans, imagine how stressed our furry family members get when their routines change and the house is full of strange new smells and people- especially if you adopted a pup during quarantine and this is their first holiday season post pandemic. A stressed-out pet can lead to destructive behaviors like chewing or urine marking, not to mention more obvious signs of stress like shaking, panting, and hiding. But fear not- we’ve got some tips for how you can manage your pet’s stress all season long!4

Prior Preparation is Key 

If you know you’re going to have a lot of company over the holidays, remind your pet beforehand of good manners. It is important that you prepare your pet for the routine shift and the new friends they are going to make at your various gatherings. Some things you should do before are:

  1. Reinforce any obedience training to cut down on over-excitement. 
  2. Do a trial run with some friends who know and understand dog behavior and who can help back you up when it comes to rewarding good behavior.
  3. If your pet has previously diagnosed anxiety, it may be worthwhile to consult with your veterinarian prior to your gathering to ensure no additional medical support is needed to get your pet through the hustle and bustle. 
  4. Exercise your pet before the party takes place. This is important as it will allow your pet to get rid of any extra energy they have that could lead to unnecessary anxiety. 
  5. Establish a solid foundation for your pet’s routine. 
  6. Create a safe place for your pet to weather the gathering.

Proper Pet Routines

It can be easy to get off track when your to-do list lengthens and you’re busy basting a turkey, however it’s important to pets that certain things like meals, walks, and playtime remain consistent. Set an alarm on your phone or keep a checklist of your pet’s daily needs to remind you (and any new helpers!) of these important tasks. Don’t forget to schedule some special time just for cuddling and extra attention. If you have company coming, it’s a good idea to take an extra long walk shortly before their visit to help burn off some of that extra energy.

Stress-Free: Set up a Calm Room

Your pet may need a space to get away from all the noise and activity. Set up a room specifically for them where they have plenty of food, water, bedding, and toys, and can be alone in the quiet. You can even provide a pheromone diffuser – like ThunderEase – to add extra layers of calm.

What to Do During the Party for Your Pet

Managing your pet’s anxiety doesn’t stop once the party starts. There are many things you can do to ensure that whilst the party is taking place, your furry friend has the best experience possible. 

  1. Keep your pet’s safe space off limits to the guests of your party. When you place your pet in their safe space, put a “do not disturb” sign on the door so your pet can stay calm and isolated in a space they feel comfortable. 
  2. When introducing your pet to your guests be sure to remain in control and lead all introductions between your pet and strangers. Your pet will feel calmer if you are around than they would if they were to meet their new friends alone. 
  3. Lastly, don’t forget your pet during the party. Be sure to check on them and give them attention. This will help you avoid creating negative associations with your pet and should also help limit any mischievous behavior that may take place. 

The Holidays Don’t Stop on December 25th! 

Don’t forget that New Year’s Eve is right around the corner, and a lot of people like to set off fireworks in celebration. Our canines and felines usually aren’t too fond of the loud bangs so it’s a good idea to get your ThunderShirt early! Combine the powers of calm by throwing in a jar of ThunderWunders Calming Chews.

Solutions to help keep ’em calm:

THUNDERSHIRT CLASSIC DOG ANXIETY JACKET –  Applies gentle, constant pressure to calm all types of anxiety, fear, and over-excitement issues
THUNDERWUNDERS CALMING CHEWS– These WUNDERful solutions help reduce the effects of environmental stress, and promote calming and relaxation
THUNDEREASE CALMING PHEROMONES – Available for cats and dogs, ThunderEase will ease your pet’s situational anxiety and stress by mimicking natural pet pheromones

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