Keep Your Pets Stress-Free for the Holidays

The holidays can be a stressful time, especially for pets. Keep your dog or cat relaxed this season with these tips and remedies.

It’s that time of year again. Guests are coming and going. There’s a tree in the middle of your living room, and you’re running around the house baking and wrapping at breakneck speed. No wonder Fido and Tabby are a bit frazzled. Help your pets relax with these simple steps.

First, be aware that animals sense our emotions. If you’re feeling stressed, it’s likely your pet is, too. Calm yourself and your pet by taking some deep breaths, slowing your pace and making time to cuddle or go for a nice, long walk.

If your pet is still overwhelmed, settle him with safe, calming herbs. Valerian root is a well-known relaxation aid; sprinkle a pinch of fresh-ground root on pets’ food. Soothing chamomile tea can help pets unwind—steep a cup and soak a treat in it. Dogs and cats are also great candidates for aromatherapy. Put a few drops of lavender essential oil on a cotton ball and tuck it out of reach near a favorite resting place. For all of these suggestions, start small with the amount and frequency of dosages and gradually work up, continually monitoring your pet. If you notice unusual behavior (other than relaxation), discontinue treatment and consult your veterinarian.

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