How To Help Our Four-Legged Family Members During Christmas And Prevent Holiday Stress

Pets can suffer from holiday stress, too. Rather than running around shopping, going to two parties in one night or wondering if they’ll receive a Christmas bonus this year, they stand by and watch their home change, new people coming in and out and glittering things they want to play with.

Jingle Bells is not a song to your pet – it’s a toy! Why see a new tree in the middle of the room with shiny things hanging on it and not investigate? Or maybe they will leave you “something extra” on the rug to “relieve” their stress.

Dr. Bill Craig, DVM with PurinaCare Pet Health Insurance, has seen the havoc the holidays can create for pet owners in his more than 30 years of veterinary medicine experience. He has outlined what’s dangerous, what are signs of stress and how to help our four-legged family members.

“JINGLE BLUES” (HOLIDAY PET STRESS) FACT SHEET

Dr. Craig and Maizie

WHAT CAUSES HOLIDAY-RELATED STRESS IN PETS (A.K.A. THE “JINGLE BLUES?”)

• The holidays create a dramatic shift in the environment and schedule of pets, which can drastically impact their behavior, activity and safety. The new smells, objects, sounds and frequent visitors and house guests all contribute to making your pets’ surroundings unfamiliar. A routine and familiar environment is important to most dogs and cats. During the holidays pets may suffer from the constant changes taking place in their territory. There are new objects to explore, like holiday decorations, new plants and tempting foods to investigate. Being mindful of how your pet may react can make the season pleasant for everyone.

WHAT ARE COMMON HOLIDAY PET DANGERS?

· TASTES: Chocolate, alcohol, raisins, Christmas tree preservative

· SCENTS: Candles, liquid potpourris

· CHEWABLES: Holiday lights, electrical cords, batteries

· SIGHTS: Holiday decorations, ornaments, ribbon, foil wrapping paper

· SURROUNDINGS: Christmas tree, American holly, Mistletoe

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF HOLIDAY-RELATED STRESS IN PETS?

· Hyper-salivation or drooling

· Soiling the pet owner’s belongings

· Chewing or scratching at doors or crate

· Non-stop howling, barking, meowing

· Compulsive grooming or licking

· Tearing up furniture or pushing items off counters

WHAT CAN PET OWNERS DO TO PREVENT HOLIDAY STRESS?

Do not dress your pet in a holiday costume

• Maintain a normal leash / walking schedule

• Give positive reinforcement with praise and treats for appropriate behavior

About PurinaCare Pet Health Insurance

PurinaCare Insurance Services Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, is dedicated to providing pet owners with a Lifetime of Care® for their dogs and cats. PurinaCare® Pet Health Insurance is offered to dog and cat owners in all states and the District of Columbia. PurinaCare is committed to promoting responsible pet care, providing humane education, supporting community pet involvement, and fostering the positive bond between people and their pets. PurinaCare® Pet Health Insurance is underwritten by Central States Indemnity Co. of Omaha, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. PurinaCare® Pet Health Insurance is also offered as a direct benefit to select employees and associations nationwide and its high-deductible policies have earned the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Seal of Acceptance. For more information about PurinaCare Pet Health Insurance, call 877-8-PURINA or visit www.purinacare.com


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