I subscribe to the notion that Halloween marks the beginning of THE holiday season. Here is my reasoning. Less than 30 days after Halloween, we celebrate Thanksgiving. Within another 30 days Hanukah and Christmas follow. For many of us, social, business and family commitments during this time of the year changes our routines. We may feel obligated to shop, cook, bake, host parties, visit people, purchase gifts, travel, socialize with people we may not like, worry about inclement weather and more.
All of these issues have their own challenges, problems and obligations. For example, cooking may entail shopping that may involve navigating through heavy traffic, standing in long and crowded store lines, choosing items to buy and spending money. Once you get home and start cooking, making tasty dishes can be worrisome and anxiety producing.
Another holiday stress factor is holiday travel. This can include tension caused by inclement weather, traffic, expenses, being somewhere on time, etc.
Staying in a hotel, or staying with friends or relatives has its stressors as does having guests in your homes. All of these scenarios cause changes in daily routines.
We have less sunlight during these last days, causing depression for many people who need more light.
The end of the year can be emotional for people who remember and miss departed loved ones. This can be a trying time as people reflect on accomplishments and disappointments.
With all these possibilities, it is really no surprise that the last days of the year are difficult. You can almost be guaranteed that your beloved furry and feathery friend/friends observe changes in behavior and attitude. Some make exhibit similar behaviors and visibly display signs of withdrawing, clinging, changes in eating habits and behaviors, etc.
Pets are highly impacted by the demands of your holiday schedule. You may be home less. Your animals may not know guests or want others in their home. If you travel with our without them during this time of the year, change and stress are commonplace for humans and their companions.
There are several things that you can do this holiday season to help and protect all members of your entire family. Here are some things that you can do.
1) Talk to your pets more. Your voice is familiar, reassuring and comforting to them. Talk to them about holiday parties. Let them know that you are having company over the house. They understand more than you realize.
2) Make sure that your animals are safe. If you are having house guests, consider leaving the animals in a place or they won’t be disturbed or can’t escape out a door or a window. Many pets do not want to be imposed upon and do not appreciate uninvited gestures of affection. Encourage guests to allow pets to approach them first.
3) If you are traveling and leaving your pets a home, make sure that the person/persons who take care of e pets know and/or are familiar with their habits, personalities, etc. Many animals prefer to stay in their own home rather than go to another location.
4) Tell you pet/pets where you are going and when you will be returning. Think about them everyday while you are away from them. Time and distance is not a barrier for animals. They have a natural ability to sense their humans. They may just get your message!
Remember if you prepare for the upcoming holiday season and keep your beloved animals in mind, your holidays