Although Christmas can be a very exciting time for us humans, it can prove to be stressful for dogs and other pets. Animals are not used to the environment that comes with the festive period, with the likelihood of loud noises, flashing lights, and an increased number of people everywhere.

Below are some tips that you can follow to help put your beloved pets at ease whilst you enjoy the festive period.


Christmas Decorations

We have previously put together a list of advice to follow so that your pets can be kept safe around Christmas decorations and festive plants. This can be found here.

Whilst you are diving into the fun that Christmas brings, don’t forget to keep an eye on your pets. Do not leave them unattended in rooms that have been decorated for the festive period.


Noise

With the excitement of holiday parties comes loud noises. This change in environment can cause pets to become nervous. By following the tips outlined below, you will be able to reduce the emotional stress on your pet, as well as protect your guests from possible injury.

- Ensure your pet has access to a comfortable and quiet place inside, whether this be upstairs or in a downstairs room separate from the guests. This will allow them to retreat whenever they want to.

- Be aware of your pet and act accordingly. This may mean staying clear of certain types of music or avoiding playing music too loud.

- Make sure your guests are aware of your pets and are respectful of them.


Lights

Similar to loud noises, pets can also be affected by bright or flashing lights, especially if these are something that they are not used to. You will be able to help your pets feel safe by following the tips below.

- Give your pet access to a room where they will feel safe and be away from any flashing lights. You may want to keep them occupied by playing with their favourite toy. Keep checking on them so that they know they are not alone.

- Be aware of your pets and make sure your guests are aware too. Do not make any decisions that will negatively affect them. For instance, avoid flashing lights if you know that these will upset your pets.


Guests

The festive period is a time when families often get together. Although this can be a good time for you to have a catch-up whilst indulging in some festive treats, your pets probably aren’t used to being around so many people at once. It is important to take note of the tips below, not only to protect your pets, but also to keep guests safe.

- Inform your guests ahead of time that you have pets. This will enable them to take any precautions if for example they have allergies.

- Ask your guests if they plan to bring their own pets. You will need to consider if they will get along with any pets that you have. If not, it would be helpful for you to raise your concerns and plan how you are going to manage this ahead of the big day.

- Watch for the exits, especially when your guests are entering and leaving. You don’t want your beloved pets to make a break for the door and become lost. Ensure your pets have up-to-date identification tags and microchips – these will be helpful in the unfortunate event that your pet does make it out of the house.