Did you know that pets can suffer from stress and anxiety, just as we can? That’s definitely something to keep in mind at this time of year. The holidays can be pretty hard on our four-legged friends! A local Roanoke, VA vet offers some advice on this below.
Many of our furry friends get very uneasy when strangers appear in their domains. Young children can be particularly upsetting to them. Some dogs and cats are very patient, and won’t bat an eye if a toddler has a meltdown in the living room. Others get frightened by noise and commotion. Keep a close eye on things, and ask visitors not to feed or discipline pets.
Some pets get upset over changes in their schedule or environments. Even decorations can rattle Fluffy and Fido. For instance, you may love the giant inflatable Santa in your yard, but Fido may view it as a threat. Let your furry buddies sniff decorative items, when they can do so safely.
One reason exercise is so important for pets is that it helps them burn off excess energy. Fun play sessions and, for Fido, long walks, are definitely in order. After a good workout, your furry pal will hopefully be calmer, and ready for a nap.
Pets that suffer from extreme anxiety may benefit from pet-calming products. There are many different options to choose from, such as collars, sprays, and weighted shirts. In extreme cases, your vet may recommend medication. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Fido and Fluffy should always be able to retreat to a spot where they feel safe, such as a comfy open crate or enclosed kitty condo. You can also offer your four-legged buddy a spot in a quiet back room, with bedding, food, toys, and treats, and radio or TV playing. This setup can be helpful for loud, busy nights, such as New Year’s Eve or during your family’s annual charade competition.
Never underestimate the power of simple TLC. Pay extra attention to Fido and Fluffy, and make sure they feel loved and safe. If you notice signs of stress, such as overgrooming, unusual vocalizations, and/or changes in appetite or behavior, contact your vet.
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Roanoke, VA animal clinic, anytime!