How To Handle Pet Stress During The Holidays

How To Handle Pet Stress During The Holidays

The holidays are here and in full swing, which means that even more stress has set in for us pet owners.  But, what most owners do not realize is that their pets feel and experience the stress of the holidays as well.

Add in the fact that you are gone more often, for holiday parties and visiting family, and you can easily see that the holidays are just as rough on our furry friends than on us, if not even more so.

However, there are a few simple signs that you can look out for that will clue you into the possibility that your pet is indeed suffering from holiday-induced stress.  We will take a look at a few of them below.

One sure fire indicator that your pet is not feeling themselves is that of a reduction or loss of appetite.  Most breeds are very tuned into their owners.  And as such, when the owner is stressed the pet picks up on this and in turn becomes stressed themselves.  Whether the stress causes an uneasy or upset stomach or just an overall uneasiness, reduction or loss of appetite completely can result.

Another sign of your pet being stressed may present in the form of lip licking and yawning  When dogs become anxious they will exhibit this feeling outwardly in the form of lip licking.  It is their version of a nervous tick so to say.  They need a means to outwardly express their inward stress, and lip licking is the most common method.  Yawning is another possible outward expression they may use as well.

The next sign that your pet may be having holiday stress is that of them sticking to you like Velcro.  When your pet is shadowing your every move, and staying as close to you as possible at all times, this is them telling you they are stressed and anxious about something.  Many pet owners agree that this type of behavior is seen more during the holidays than most any other time of the year.  Your pet is wanting to keep close because although they are stressed, they feel that being close to you that everything will be alright.  That you will keep them safe and make sure that nothing will hurt or harm them.

Finally, one of the most widely observed signs of stress in pets is exhibited with shaking and shivering.  You may think it is because your pet is cold, but in actuality, that is most probably not the case.  When a pet becomes anxious, nervous, or stressed, much like people do they have a cross between a panic attack and an anxiety attack.  And again, like us humans that can manifest as physical shivering or shaking.

As with any change in your pets attitude or demeanor, it is best to check with a vet to make sure there are no underlying medical problems present.  If none are found, then the most probable cause for the change in behavior is stress.  Keep in mind that just because our companions have fur, feathers, or scales doesn’t mean that they won’t be affected to some point with holiday stress.

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