LOS ANGELES, Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- As the old song goes, "Tis the season to be jolly" and while this holiday season will be a time of joy for most, there are some who find the holidays to be a difficult time emotionally. This is also true for pets. For many people the holidays mean change in normal living patterns. Change can be stressful for our pets and this can cause behavior problems including depression. Let's look at some of the common changes that occur during the holiday season.
Many people are busier during the holidays. Parties, shopping, entertaining and travel means you might spend less time with your pets. This can cause stress and anxiety. Pet parents make changes to their homes during this time of year. Be it a large tree, blinking lights, unfamiliar boxes or just more activity in the home - many animals find these changes stressful.
This does not mean that pet parents need to cancel or cut back on the holidays! Here are a few simple steps to keep things safe and stress-free during this time of year. Steven Appelbaum, President of Animal Behavior College and a veteran dog trainer, offers this advice:
- Keep life as "normal" as possible - If you usually take your dog for a walk, don't stop or cut back during the holidays. This will help to avoid stress.
- Avoid dietary changes - Most holiday snacks are not meant for animal consumption. Avoid the temptation to let your pets share the "treats" you have during the holidays. Remember that some plants like Poinsettia can cause stomach upset while others like Mistletoe and Holly are poisonous. Do not leave these out where pets can get to them.
- Help your pet make positive associations with holiday objects - Simply take your pet near items like your Christmas tree or gifts and feed them a special treat a few times during the day. This will teach your pet to associate positive things with the new things in your home and thus reduce the likelihood of stress.
- Be aware of your own moods during this time - Many people get blue during this time of year and your pet knows it. Try to keep schedules and interactions with your pets the same as they usually are. This will help your pet to feel secure.
ABC is a highly innovative vocational school that specializes in animal-related career training. ABC offers three programs - Certified Dog Obedience Instructor training program, Certified Veterinary Assistant program and Certified Grooming Instruction program. Animal Behavior College also offers continuing education programs including one devoted to the training of shelter dogs. ABC has training locations in all 50 states as well as in Canada and is the premier school for animal lovers who wish to pursue animal-related careers. For more information, visit http://www.animalbehaviorcollegecourses.com or call 1-800-944-9185.
SOURCE Animal Behavior College