Make Christmas less stressful for pets and people alike
The holiday season can be anything but peaceful with stressful trips to shopping malls, contentious visits among family and even battles with pets as unhappy cats urinate on guests’ shoes and dogs steal treats meant for humans. I believe that is why we have to work even harder this time of year to relax, to appreciate what we have, and to tolerate the faults of those around us. Like the ceasefire between British and German troops in 1914, make this season a time to seek peace and show your love for family, friends and of course your pets.
How can you make peace with your animals this season? It starts with avoidance of problems you know your pet is prone to such as inappropriate elimination, stealing food, or barking at strangers. Give your cat a comfortable place in the house away from the guests and confine it there with a couple litter boxes, lots of fresh water and some food dispensing toys to entertain him. Make sure you visit him often to offer Christmas gifts of catnip and empty boxes to scratch, climb and hide inside. Young dogs will be safest in crates or exercise pens during the chaotic opening of presents and a brisk walk twice a day will tire them out so they sleep quietly through the chaos.
Take a deep breath and start cleaning up
When things go wrong, do not further stress your pets by yelling but rather concentrate on cleaning up the mess. Take a deep breath and do not hesitate to call us or our emergency hospital for advice ranging from whether your dog ate enough chocolate to have serious symptoms to signs of illness in your cats. Give your pets relief from chronic as well as acute illnesses by seeking treatment promptly, rather than waiting until after the holidays, when their condition may have worsened. Supervise the interactions between your pets and children and other animals and separate them before play changes from fun to fearful.
Do they know its Christmas?
Although it is unlikely that our pets understand the significance of the season, they will appreciate a calm and loving holiday with their families. Our pets respond sensitively to our energy levels and if we approach them with gentleness, they will feel more relaxed and be healthier, both emotionally and physically, as a result. Here at Carriage Crossing Animal Hospital we hope all our patients and their families and friends have a very happy and peaceful holiday and we extend a heartfelt thanks to you for your continued support this year.
Dr. Ashby, Crystal, Amanda, Delia, Jenny, and Brigitte