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FEATURE A U S S I E PE TS Brought to you by Shor t term Str ess and Anxie t y Noise and p e ople For us Christmas and New Year celebrations are a great time to relax and unwind, perhaps some socialising and a little over indulging. For our pets however this time of year can present a few challenges as their regular day to day routines may go out the window and parties and get together’s can cause some short term stress and anxiety. You may think your pet loves people, and it probably does, but sometimes it can get a little too much. That house party with 25 guests is usually okay for the first hour but sometimes pets have had enough of stranger’s or people in general so they need to be able to relax somewhere safe. Some pets are wary of people in the first place, for these guys having a house full of people would be extremely stressful right from the start. Noise can also be a problem, we know many dogs hate thunder, it’s not just thunder, loud sudden unfamiliar noises are disconcerting for pets, fireworks on New Year Eve will send many pets scampering, champagne corks popping, bursts of loud laughter, loud music, these are all things your pets are almost certain to be scared of and can make your pet’s very anxious. Routine Most pets love routine, if your pet is used to spending many hours alone in the yard or in the house while you’re working and the kids are at school they may get a little shock when suddenly you are home each day and kids are all over the house on Christmas school holidays, their 10am nap turns into a 10am Power walk, a nap in the dark room with the blinds closed during the day is now warm and light as the blinds are now open all day, ruining a favourite sleeping spot. For most pet’s owners spending more time with them is a good thing, not stressful at all, but for some this may cause a few anxiety issues so keep an eye on pets. PAGE 56 Fo o d We all love seeing our friends pet when we visit, and after a few drinks you may be swayed by their big eyes looking at you, “can I have some” initially you may be strong but chances are