Managing Cat and Dog Anxiety During the Holidays

Let’s face it: our pets are part of our family. That means they too can experience the highs and lows that accompany the holiday season. But for some pets, holidays can be a stressful time—think strange faces, loud noises, and a change in routine. It’s crucial for us pet owners to understand how this stress manifests so we can address it promptly.




Identifying Signs of Anxiety

  • Excessive panting or drooling
  • Pacing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Aggression
  • Hiding away
  • Inappropriate urination or defecation
  • Refusal to eat
  • Destructive behavior
  • Excessive shedding or grooming

If you notice any of these signs, consider consulting a veterinarian. You can always call us at (919) 847-6216 to discuss your pet’s condition and make an appointment.

Preparing Your Pets for Holiday Travel

The holiday season often means loading up the car for a family trip. While this can be fun for us, it’s not always a joyride for our pets.

Tips for a Smooth Car Journey with Your Pets

  • Acclimate your pets to the carrier or car in the weeks leading up to your trip.
  • Make short test drives with your pets to get them used to the experience.
  • Take plenty of breaks during the journey for bathroom and exercise stops.

It’s also important to be sure your pet is microchipped and wears identification such as collar and/or tags. Make sure your contact information is correct and up-to-date on all identifying information. If your pet were to run away or get lost, this will ensure they are able to make it back to you. If your pet is not microchipped, give us a call for an appointment.  Microchipping is a quick and easy process similar to administering a vaccine and is the best way to ensure you are reunited with your lost pet.

Remember, always consult a veterinarian for any medical advice on dealing with anxiety or other pet-related issues.

Celebrating Holidays at Home: What Pet Owners Should Know

Sometimes the holidays are celebrated right in the comfort of our own homes. That means family visits and potentially loud celebrations, like fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

Fireworks and Family Visits: Keeping Your Pet Calm

  • Create a “safe space” for your pet, like a quiet room away from the noise where they can relax.
  • Keep your pet’s routine as normal as possible. Regular feeding and walking times can help maintain a sense of normalcy.
  • Use distractions like toys or treats to keep their attention away from the noise and unfamiliar faces.

There are also various medications that can be prescribed for your pet to help with their fear, anxiety, and stress associated with travel, new visitors, or fireworks. Schedule an appointment with your vet to determine the exact medications that would work best based on your pet’s needs. Don’t forget to plan ahead!  It is best to test your pet’s response to the medications prior to the actual stressful event.

Bowman Animal Hospital: Your Partner in Managing Pet Anxiety During the Holidays

It’s important to remember that while these tips are great for general pet care, every animal is different. If you’ve tried multiple strategies and your pet still seems anxious, it may be time to consult the professionals. The team at Bowman Animal Hospital and Cat Clinic in Raleigh, NC, are more than equipped to help diagnose and manage anxiety-related concerns in pets. Call (919) 847-6216 to make an appointment or for more information.

For more detailed information on fear, anxiety, and traveling with your pet, visit the Fear Free At Home website for specific articles on dealing with your pets’ particular situation.

Let’s all do our part to ensure that our four-legged family members enjoy the holidays as much as we do. Because a happy pet makes for an even happier holiday season!

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About Bowman Animal Hospital & Cat Clinic

Established in 1986 by Dr. Gale Bowman, Bowman Animal Hospital and Cat Clinic is dedicated solely to the health and well-being of our pet community. We are a team of compassionate veterinarians and pet lovers who invest our time and resources into providing the very best medical care to your pet.