Managing anxiety during the holidays


holiday anxiety

The holidays are often times of great cheer but can also be times of anxiety, for pets and people alike. With all the commotion and changes associated with holiday activity, sometimes our dogs and cats don’t get the level of attention they may need, at a time when they may need it most.

Dr. Meghan E. Burns attended Michigan State University where she received her degree in veterinary medicine and continued her post-doctoral studies. She has published papers and articles detailing her findings in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Burns recently joined Virbac Corporation and is currently serving as a Technical Manager.
Dr. Meghan E. Burns attended Michigan State University where she received her
degree in veterinary medicine and continued her post-doctoral studies. She has
published papers and articles detailing her findings in peer-reviewed journals. Dr.
Burns recently joined Virbac Corporation and is currently serving as a Technical Manager.

Dogs, especially, can be very sensitive to changes in their environment and routines. When family members take time off from work and school, house guests stay for extended periods, and there is a constant revolving door of other visitors. Maintaining your dog’s routine amongst the chaos of the holidays can help to reduce her stress. Just like with small human children, your dog needs structure to feel secure in her own environment. Simply knowing when she will be fed, walked, and played with on a regular basis can aid in her feeling more relaxed and secure. Don’t underestimate the power of even a little attention and exercise. Stimulation lets her burn excess energy and helps to keep her nerves and emotions calm. Without a regular routine, she may have difficulty adapting to unavoidable life changes.

In addition to preserving her routine, providing your dog with her own room to retreat to is also a good idea to help avoid the hubbub during family gatherings. Instead of having to hide under furniture or in a room guests may frequent, having her own area complete with water and a place to rest will help to reduce the holiday stress.

Some pets have challenges managing their stress response despite our best efforts. However, there are other choices that can manage their anxiety, including pheromone therapy and supplements. One such supplement, ANXITANE® (L-Theanine) Chewable Tablets, contains an amino acid that promotes relaxation in dogs and cats exhibiting nervousness, anxiety, or responding to environmentally-induced stress. This compound, found in green tea, can help your pets stay calm and relaxed, which can help them in the learning process of behavior modification. And with proven palatability1, dogs and cats seem to like it as well. By combining this supplement with behavioral modification, many pets may manage the stress in their lives.

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