The holidays upon us! For those of us who start celebrating directly after Thanksgiving, this may be a time of upset in your household. Picking out and decorating your tree, joyously trading out your boring all-year decorations for the festive spirit. It’s exciting for the humans in your house, but maybe not so much for the furry friends that you share it with.
Puppies, kittens, parakeets, gerbils, snakes…okay, maybe not. But, no matter the species, animals like patterns and routines. They like to have your undivided attention, and when they can’t, chaos may rein. Helping them cope with the stress is not always as easy as telling them “no.”
When the relatives take over:
You love them, you do. Grandparents and cousins galore. It’s undoubtable stress for you no matter how chill your family is. Cleaning to be done. Cookies to bake. Then they arrive… the hungry hordes. Messing up your meticulous cleaning job and eating all the cookies. What else did you expect?
Naturally, in the swirl of commotion your pet may be pushed to the side. Or, hopefully not, forgotten. The small/scary children are like personal torture machines for your dog. Even more so if your dog is older and prefers to be left alone to nap in peace.
Now, what to do about it? You obviously can’t kick your family out, as much as you would sometimes like to. And you can’t kick your pet out as much as your dog-phobic uncle would like you to. Settle for a compromise. Surely your relatives and your pets can share a whole house.
Ask your nieces and nephews to be gentle when petting your pal. If your dog is crate-trained, try putting him to bed before the family gets there, and let him out for small increments of time to get used to a full house of unknown people.
But most of all, maintain a calm composure. When you are calm your pet is calm, and vise-versa. Don’t allow the holidays to take over your life and ruin you and your pet’s enjoyment of this happy season.
Ah, so you’re a social butterfly. Christmas parties every week. Friends coming over for dinner, sadly bringing their uncommon dislike of your pet.
A cat will find a place to go, a quiet corner or under a bed. Somewhere they can be completely ignored. You mention your cat to one of your friends, and their response is: “Wait, you have a cat?”
Understandably, dogs are more high maintenance. They must meet all your “fellow humans” and jump on every one of them. Or, if they’re more timid, cower in the corner, growling. This type of behaviour can upset your dog and your guests. What is the answer to this growing conundrum?
Patience. Your dog or cat will come around when they’re ready, and if they never are, suit yourself with showing your guests pictures of your awesome pet. Better luck next time, folks.
-The Alternative Daily