10 ways to keep your pet safe from stress during the New Year holidays

For people, New Year is perhaps the most joyful holiday. And for animals, it can become a source of stress: fireworks and explosions of firecrackers, strangers in the house, a change in the usual daily routine. Together with the Ozon marketplace, we will tell you how to help your pets get through the holidays. 

1. Walk only on a leash

Even if your dog walks perfectly alongside, a firecracker that explodes a few meters away can throw it off balance. Therefore, do not let the animal off the leash. A correctly adjusted harness is more comfortable and safer than a collar. It is more difficult to wriggle out of it, and if the animal jerks sharply, it will not be so traumatic.

In addition to a harness or collar, you need to hang a strong cord with an address tag around the dog’s neck. Even if the animal has a chip, it can only be read in the clinic, and it is much easier to find the owner by phone on the address plate.

Be sure to take a treat with you for a walk. It will help distract your dog from stressful situations and calm him down.

2. Teach the animal to relax and be distracted

Even if the dog does not break loose and hide at the sounds of fireworks, this does not mean that he is not under stress. Each animal has its own triggers – from large men in work clothes to bicycles or scooters. Finally, many dogs get nervous when traveling in the car or going to the vet.

But if you teach your dog to relax at home and on the street, it will become more comfortable to experience such stressful situations. You can, for example, use the Susan Clozier protocol. All you need is a towel or blanket.

At the beginning of classes, you need to sit on the floor, put a blanket next to it and wait for the dog to come up to you. You do not need to call or lure your pet.

As soon as the dog lies on the blanket, place a piece of treat next to its face or paws. If the animal continues to lie down, give more after a while.

After a few sessions, the dog will understand that it is beneficial for her to lie on the blanket next to you – she is praised and fed for this. Gradually, you can enter the command “Relax” or “Relax” along with a piece of delicacy. And then transfer classes to the street and add irritants – for example, ask a friend to run by.

The LAT protocol (look at this, look at that – look there, look here) is suitable for the dog to learn better how to be distracted and turn his attention to you. In this case, you are giving the treat when the dog looks you in the eye.

On the street, such practices help to avoid stressful situations – for example, distracting the dog from other animals or actively partying people.

3. Replace long walks with home games

On holidays, it is better to leave only hygienic walks in familiar places. This way you reduce the risk that the dog will get very scared on the street – some animals refuse to go out for a long time after such stress.

You can replace activity on walks with toys – kongs and sniffing rugs, puzzles and smart interactive kits. Dogs usually get tired of such activities faster than from active games on the street, they become calmer, they stop spoiling furniture and walls.

4. Set up a quiet place

The animal should have a place where no one will touch it. This is especially important on holidays.

How to arrange such a place? Place a house, cat box, or dog bed where fewer people walk in your apartment. Ideally, this is a separate closed room, but a dressing room or a voluminous closet will do. Water should be left near the house, if possible – food and a tray.

You can also buy a crate for cats and dogs. This is not a punishment, but a safe place that protects the animal from the outside world. The cage should also contain soft bedding, water, food, a tray, or a disposable diaper. It is worth accustoming to it in advance: first, simply encourage interest in the cage, then praise the delicacy every time it enters there.

Warn guests not to touch the animal when it is in its special place. If you are going to celebrate the New Year away from home and plan to take your pet with you, bring his favorite bed, blanket or pillow – their smell will help you calm down in a new place.

5. Introduce guests gradually

If the animal is generally calm and does not huddle under the sofa at the sight of strangers, try introducing him to the guests. It is better for people to sit at the level of the dog or cat, for example, on the floor or on the couch, but at a short distance.

You should not make sudden movements, talk loudly and look the animal in the eyes. You need to relax and ignore the cat or dog at first. Better to just talk quietly or watch TV. Let the animal get used to it, sniff it and show interest itself.

It is also not necessary to stroke the head and hang over the animal right away – this will be perceived as aggression. And it’s better to feed by spreading the treat next to the animal. This will help establish contact. The main thing is to remember that the guests still came to you, and not to your pets, so a cat or a dog has every right not to participate in the general fun.

6. Choose safe Christmas tree decorations

If you do decide to put up a Christmas tree, choose toys that do not break and do not contain sharp elements. The best option is medium-sized wooden decorations.

It is also better to refuse the rain: even if your cat or dog has never tried to eat it, everything happens for the first time. If the animal still ate the rain, there is no need to wait until it comes out on its own, and even more so to pull on the end – you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Garlands can be dangerous too. Cats and dogs are quite capable of gnawing through the wire. If you cannot do without glowing bulbs, it is better to choose battery-powered models. Moreover, the compartment with the batteries must be placed in a place inaccessible to animals – gnawed or swallowed batteries are extremely dangerous.

7. Stock up on a variety of foods

In a state of stress, animals may refuse their usual food. Force-feeding is not worth it, but offering an alternative is fine.

For example, if your dog normally eats dry food, you can add small pieces of boiled chicken, lean beef, chicken hearts to it, but without salt and spices. You can switch to wet food – pates, stews, pieces in jelly.

8. Don’t feed the animal from your table

Even if a pet begs for delicacies and depicts the most unfortunate bunny in the Universe, salted fish, fried meat and other dishes are not at all what is good for his body. Unusual food, especially fatty and heavily seasoned food, can cause vomiting, indigestion, liver and pancreas problems. Plus, by giving food off the table, you are encouraging unwanted behavior. Animals learn very quickly what is beneficial to them, and it will be much more difficult to correct behavior than to accustom them to beg for pieces. Guests should also be warned about the rules of your house: no feeding pets from the table.

9. Remove wrappers immediately

Many animals love to rustle with wrappers and bows. But if they swallow pieces of glossy paper, it can cause a blockage in the digestive system.

Therefore, it is better to put a special gift for your pet under the tree, and immediately put the paper in the trash can. Together with ribbons, serpentine and other decor.

10. Save all the contacts you want

Find out in advance the work schedule of your veterinarian and write down the phone numbers of the nearest clinics with round-the-clock duty. It is desirable that clinics have modern diagnostic equipment: at least X-ray, ultrasound, equipment for laboratory tests.

Prepare the carrier: put it closer, lay a disposable diaper. It can take a long time to find these things in a stressful situation.

It is worth keeping at home a supply of medications that the animal takes on a regular basis and a first aid kit for emergencies. It is also helpful to stock up on products that reduce stress levels, such as drops, evaporating liquid in a vial like a fumigator, or a collar.

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