Helping your pets feel calm at Christmas

Christmas can be stressful for cats and dogs. The change in routine, visitors, children, loud music and decorations can all worry them.

  • Try to keep food, exercise, bed and toilet break routines the same as consistency can help pets feel more secure.
  • If you have guests coming over, let your dog or cat meet people at their own pace.
  • Give them somewhere cosy and quiet to retreat to, away from all the excitement, where they won’t be disturbed by anyone. Leave toys there to help them associate the area with positive experiences.
  • For cats, you can also give some hidey-holes to retreat to in case they feel unsure. Try on top of wardrobes or under furniture – even cardboard boxes can make good hiding places.
  • Although Christmas is a busy time and there’s a lot to do and people to see, be careful about leaving your pet alone for any period which might cause them distress.
  • If you’re spending Christmas day with friends or family and your dog is coming with you, take something which smells familiar, like their bed, to help them feel secure. Take some of their favourite toys and chews to help keep them entertained.