Both cats and dogs can become quite stressed and anxious during the festive season with the house being transformed for parties and family gatherings. Even for really friendly and social pets normally happy to be around people can all become way too much to handle.

Keep in mind that for them it’s not all jingle bells and snow cones and that they can get incredibly overwhelmed by it all.

If you are hosting a party or two this festive season considers where you might put your pet whilst the party is in full swing. Perhaps put them in a quiet area or room with maybe some music or the TV. Remember, you are aiming for it to be as quiet and peaceful as possible, as far from the noise and commotion as you possibly get them.

If your pet is around while the party is in play and there are lots of kids around its best to explain how your pet might be feeling and announce that just for today there will be no hugs or kisses Fido or Fluffy. Ensure your pets ‘personal space’ is not compromised or invaded. You don’t want them in an uncomfortable situation where they have to react.

Plus, like with any responsible parent looking out for their kids, the same goes for your pets. Assign an adult!

Signs your pet may be stressed with the situation:

  • Lick their lips
  • Wide-eyed, showing more of the whites of their eyes
  • Ears are constantly pricked up and alert like they are ‘on guard’
  • They start hiding under furniture
  • Trying to get away and escape from everyone
  • A growl – a big warning sign that your dog is uncomfortable with the situation
  • A paw swipe with claws at the ready – the cat’s version of ‘back off people’
  • They can also freeze in situations if they are unable to escape an uncomfortable situation.

Take your pet away – these are signs you need to give your pet a break.

Remember if you do have a party and you know your pet does get stressed, you can always go for a pet boarding option for overnight here with us at VetMed or, ask a friend or neighbours for a Christmas favour. There are also other solutions to help calm them. Be sure to speak with a VetMed Vet to discuss your options.