Have a Calm Christmas!
In our last post, we covered all the festive items that could be ingested by an unsuspecting pet. In this post we focus on anxiety in pets at this time of year and the impact of weather conditions and dark nights can have.
Decor Changes, Visitors and Excitement
With the addition of a Christmas tree, new smells, visitors and excited children (and adults), Christmas can be stressful for the more nervous pets in our homes. At this time of year, it’s worth designating an area or room in the house that is peaceful and your pet can escape to when everything “gets too much” for them. Ensure there are plenty of toys, treats and water for them to enjoy while they retreat away from the chaos!
Santa Claus and Toys
Consider the mayhem of Christmas morning when kids are involved. New toys that make lots of noise are enough to unsettle many nervous pets. Giving your pets the option of avoiding the mayhem will set them up for a happier Christmas day.
Lots of new toys and gadgets from Santa often means lots of batteries left lying around or integral batteries that are fun to chew (if you’re a curious cat or puppy). There are a growing number of balls, and other toys, which now contain flashing lights or make noises powered by batteries. When a battery is punctured or swallowed, the alkaline or acidic material can leak out and cause corrosive injury to the mouth and other body tissues. If you suspect your dog has punctured a battery, attempt to flush out their mouth for 15-20 minutes with tepid water to help reduce any chance of ulceration and burning, and then seek veterinary advice. Do not encourage the dog to vomit as the corrosive contents of the battery can cause further damage to the throat.
Having just recovered from Halloween, our poor pets need to prepare for the fireworks that are often set off between Christmas and New Years’ Eve.
We would recommend a “white noise” machine. Promoted to help babies sleep, these can make it harder for your dog to hear the sounds outside of the house. While the “white noise” machine can’t block out the sound completely, it has been recommended as an aid - far better than playing heavy metal music at full volume until the fireworks stop! (Yes, some of our customers do this, much to the annoyance of their neighbours)! You can also use brown noise audio clips from YouTube / Spotify which are also used to calm and induce sleep.
Why not consider a Thundershirt? These little coats create a swaddling effect which helps keep pets calm. We also have our Cozy-Up Calming Cushion. We are lucky to have new stock of these beautiful cushions which are handcrafted using local Irish Tweed made here in Co. Kerry. Then filled with organic valerian root, and a few drops of the purest lavender essential oil which aid relaxation in your dog.
We have a range of products available that target anxiety in pets. For dogs that are more sensitive or have a tendency to hyperactivity when over excited, we would recommend using our Calm & Balmy spray. This quick acting spray is ideal for one off situations that require immediate attention. It can be used in three ways depending on level of anxiety. Applied to bedding or environment for low level worries, applied to neck and head area as anxiety rises, and for high “in the moment” anxiety you can spray it on your hand and offer it directly to your dog to lick. We also stock Calm Canine, which is a dietary support to ease anxiety on a daily basis and reduce stress for a worry-free pet. They also get the added benefit of Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids with this supplement.
While it’s been an unusually warm Autumn, the next few months will see some extremely cold and wet days. Ensure your pets are warm and have a safe place to sleep each night. If your cat likes to explore at night and you don’t have a cat flap, ensure there is somewhere safe where they can go if they stay out past their “curfew”!
The clocks went back a few weeks ago and as a result, it’s darker in the evenings. Poor visibility can be dangerous for pets, so ensure they are visible. Consider a reflective collar and if your dog is thin skinned (hey greyhounds and Iggy’s, we see you!), make sure you invest in some winter woolies for them!
Snow, ice and path salt can be harsh on your doggos paw pads, so make sure they are checked and wiped after each walk. You can use the Holistic Hound Snout & Paw Balm to protect and nourish their paws during these times. And we would also recommend having the Holistic Hound Heal Me Quick spray to hand so that any cuts or abrasions can be quickly dealt with, avoiding trips to the vets during the Christmas season.
Even when it’s above freezing, pets’ extremities (including paws, noses, and ears) are especially susceptible to wind chill. This makes hypothermia one of the most common issues caused by frosty weather. As in humans, hypothermia in pets results from low body temperature caused by extreme cold. The combination of wet fur and cold weather can be dangerous to dogs and cats and contribute to hypothermia. Other causes of hypothermia in pets include submersion in cold water for an extended period of time, as well as shock. If you live close to a water source, keep an eye on your pets.