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Christmas Cheer or Christmas Chaos

Christmas is one of those odd times of year when there is a fine line with it being Joyeux Noel or Bah Humbug

One thing for sure is the change in routine! excitement in the air and usually having more visitors and strange decorations being displayed can sometimes be a bewildering time for our pets.

There they are enjoying the everyday life and then bam here comes the festive season. For cats, the Christmas tree can be a whole other enrichment game, wow, something to climb inside and lots of baubles to play with. but wait who are all these people making a lot of noise. Cats unless socialised appropriately do not like lots of people in their home. If you are unable to avoid this situation then provide a safe haven for them where it is out of bounds for anyone else to go. Give them a litter tray, a cosy bed, water and food tucked away, you could even splash out on some Feliway to help with reducing the stress.

For our dog, well there are a whole host of potential issue, again the Christmas tree has lots of added toys they may want to explore, and the presents under the tree. Now I have seen many dogs in my nursing days that open the present of chocolates and eating the entire to only be rushed to the vets to make vomit, and sometimes worse, with staying in for addition treatment of toxic signs are presented.

The other thing our dogs suffer from is stress. Now family's at Christmas have a way of creating tension, especially those that may not see each other often, and especially if there are any pent up emotions. Dogs pick up on emotional changes and then you have a stressed dog. You may also have a dog that doesn't particularly like people and is expected to cope with a household of people that s/he is unfamiliar with and will undoubtedly attempt to stroke the dog often resulting in nips or bites. I often get a Christmas day phone call about such events.

So prevention is better than cure. If you have a worried dog don't invite lots of people around it will end in horror. Or if they have to come en mass then give the dog a safe haven in another room where people cant go! no one can get bitten if they are not giving access to the dog. For those that then worry the dog will feel left out then yes you maybe right but you can pop in to visit him or her, give her games they can play with and some good treats and food and I can assure you that will be the less stressful situation that they will have to go through rather than being so stressed and concerned that they bite.

Of course the alternative is getting behavioural advise long before silly season begins so you either work on your pets behaviour prior to having extra visitors or just get some useful tips on how to make the season as smooth as possible for all.

What every your doing have an peaceful, stress free and happy Christmas

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