Stress Less This Holiday

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