A holiday centric photo of a yellow colored dog wearing novelty reindeer antlers and panting.

Can you feel it? The frazzle with the dazzle that comes this time of year. Chances are, if you are feeling a little overwhelmed by the holidays, your pet may be feeling it too. Stress during the holidays is common, and you may have found ways to cope with it, like meditation and yoga. But what about your pet? 

Oakland Veterinary Referral Services aims to give you our suggestions for keeping the chaos from causing issues with your pet. Here are some of our favorites for giving your pet a stress-free holiday.

Making It Merry — Not Maddening

The season is usually filled with running here and there to parties, gatherings, and other obligations. This time can seem important to you, but your pet is probably feeling the brunt of it. Quality time is something that is precious to both pets and their people. These are some ways to slow down the pace.

  1. Take your pet to look at lights — Whether you choose to drive or walk, take your pet to some of the most amazing light displays along historic streets or old neighborhoods. Do you remember doing this as a child? This is a heartwarming tradition that can include the whole family, complete with hot chocolate for you and your human family and something tasty for your furry one.
  2. Bake up some holiday favorites — What’s more soothing than smelling the goodness from the oven? How about making a batch of cookies from a family recipe and a separate batch of homemade pet treats, like these dog cookies or these cat snacks?
  3. Watch a timeless old movie together — Elf, It’s a Wonderful Life, Rudolph, How the Grinch Stole Christmas — there are so many fun holiday films to choose from. Take an afternoon and chill out with your fur friend on the couch, with a big, snuggly blanket.
  4. Spend some time with pet-friendly peeps — Have you been meaning to get together with a friend you haven’t seen in some time? Do they have a pet, too? Invite a friend or two with pets over to have a long-awaited convo and allow your furry ones to play together.
  5. Go outside — If there is snow, all the better! Make a snowman, snow angel, or just run around with your pet for some exercise and enrichment. Throw in a favorite game like fetch and now you are in business! Just make sure to bundle up.

Too Much Fun = Frazzled Fido

If there has been an onslaught of people at the home and your pet is feeling overwhelmed, create a quiet space for them to chill out in. 

Here are some ways you can provide solace and peace during the holiday rush:

  • Give your pet their very own den or room (or crate) that is separate from the main area of the home.
  • Provide them with favorite blankets, treats, games, and puzzles, as well as things that smell like you — like a big sweater.
  • Use essential oil sprays like Rescue Remedy to reduce anxiety.
  • Some pet owners rely on the Thundershirt which is designed to provide pressure to the torso to soothe stress.
  • If the holiday party is too noisy for your fur friend, try boarding them with a trusted kennel. 

Giving Your Pet a Stress-Free Holiday

We hope you and your four-legged family member can have a relaxing season by taking a few simple steps to reduce stress. Take a little time to give yourself and your pet a stress-free holiday. If your pet needs our help during the holidays with a pet emergency, please call us or come in 24 hours a day!