Christmas is fast approaching, and many of us may have made plans to either visit family/friends or to have them come to visit us. Either way, our normal daily routines are likely to be disrupted. So what does this mean for our pets?
I try to make sure my own animals have a degree of flexibility in their lifestyles – not doing the same thing at the same time every day. This means that they don’t normally get too anxious if i’m a few minutes early or late seeing to them. But even so, a drastic change of suddenly being a few hours late with their food would not make them very happy, and would almost certainly cause them distress.
Are you able to make sure your pets normal routines are maintained over the festive season? E.g.
- Walk your dog at a similar time to what you normally do;
- Feed your pets at a similar time to normal;
- Not over-exciting them – they may know something is different from observing you and your family (if you’re doing different things), but they don’t really know it’s Christmas and probably aren’t waiting for a present!
- Give your horses the same amount of turnout in the field as normal;
- Exercise your horse as you would normally do – a day off is not a bad thing, but if you normally ride your horse every day, to suddenly go for a few days without exercising will be a significant change of routine to your horse.
Of course hopefully you’ll have more time to spend with your animals, if you normally work full-time and are having time off over the festive break. This time is precious. Spending more time with them will be great – I know i’m looking forward to more time with my animals.
If you’ve got more visitors in your household, its important that your pets don’t feel overwhelmed. Some small animals can easily get anxious if there are more people around than they’re used to – not least if more noise is generated from lots of talking and music playing, etc.
To help ease your pet’s stress from lots of visitors, you could use some Bach Flower Remedies to assist. There are several of the 38 different remedies that can help, the best one will depend on your animal’s individual circumstances – i.e. what’s behind the anxiety, is it fear of known things, fear of the unknown, timidness, etc?
Do you have any top tips for helping your animal to be calm and enjoy the festive season?
Until next time,
Director, Taranet Complementary Therapies for Animals (Business Consultancy, Social Media Training and Forever Business Owner)