Happy Holidays, Pet Lovers
The holidays are fully upon us. And while most of us will be staying home this year, some of you will be hosting family or friends … or traveling with your pets. For some pets, that may lead to more high-anxiety situations than normal.
The good news is that there are several things I can suggest that may help calm the nerves of even the most anxious pets.
For indoor dogs, one simple remedy is exercise ! Taking your dog for more frequent and/ or longer walks can be a great way to not only remove them from the chaos of a busy household, but also the physical activity itself will stimulate the endorphins (feel-good hormones) in dogs just as it can in people. Additionally, they’ll likely be fatigued from a brisk walk, and better able to cope with all the activity in the house. (And taking the dog for a walk can also be a great way for people to chill out from annoying family members.)
Also, allow your pets a “panic room” where they can escape from guests. It’s not unusual for cats to go into hiding for seemingly days when strangers and unknown guests enter the home. Keeping non-family members out of these places makes these effective areas for a pet to avoid unwanted noise and activity.
Pets are creatures of habit, much as we are. As best as possible, keeping your family routines to a predictable schedule can help minimize stress-related trauma for many pets.
The use of pheromone products (Adaptil for dogs; Feliway for Cats), which come in either sprays or room diffusers, can be beneficial to relieve anxiety. Feliway can be especially useful when a squirt or 2 is applied inside a kitty carrier prior to traveling.
CBD oil is gaining popularity in both pets and people, for good reason. It has the capacity to really dial back anxiety when given as a liquid by mouth. A rule of thumb for dosing in pets is 2.5mg for every 10 lbs of body weight. The biggest caution using CBD oil is that it remains a fairly unregulated industry, so there is no guarantee of quality when you purchase a bottle.
For those pets with significant anxiety issues, full-service veterinarians can prescribe anti-anxiety medications to get your pet through the holidays.
Our amazing team at Carolina Value Pet Care and I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2021 !
All the best
Dr Bob Parrish