For many families, Halloween has become the unofficial start of the holiday season. We decorate our homes, ourselves, our kids, and our pets, if they will allow it. While the holidays can be a fun and happy time for us, they can be very stressful for our pets. Today I’m sharing helpful tips with my fellow pet owners, which hopefully, will help us avoid potentially hazardous situations and keep our pets (and us!) safe, healthy and stress-free throughout the holiday season. 

This post is sponsored by Royal Canin®, #royalcaninhealthypets. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Royal Canin’s veterinary-exclusive gastrointestinal diet this #Halloween, but all opinions are my own. Royal Canin is not responsible for the content of this post.

Dottie at the door help your pets have a stress free holiday

Meet Dottie ‒ our 9-year-old indoor cat who loves to be in the same room with you while you go about your day. She loves seeing outside and we captured this photo of her looking out the front door onto the porch recently. Her sweet face seems to ask ‒ why are you out there in the scary dark? Please don’t stay out there. Changes in her routine, like me not working from home one day, or visitors, can really stress out Dottie.

Do you know some of the other signs of stress in your pet? According to they are:

  • Poor Appetite
  • Decreased interaction with their owners
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances

With Halloween less than a week away, I know my cats will be stressed and upset every time the doorbell rings! We may do trunk-or-treat again to relieve this problem.  Do your pets run in fear of trick-or-treaters and holiday guests too?

If yes, here are a few tips to help prevent stress in your pet:

Royal Canin pet products

1. Make sure you feed your pets at their regular feeding time and spot. Now is not the time to change things up! Feed them their preferred food type in a line that provides all the nutritional support your pet requires, like Royal Canin®

2. Provide a stable living environment for your pets. They need routine! Try your best to keep your pet’s schedule and routine as normal as possible.

3. Reinforce positive behavior in your pets like using their scratcher, or not clawing furniture etc.

Dottie, happy cat in the window

4. Make sure their favorite spots are available to them! Dottie adores seeing out the windows to our front yard, which is full of birds, squirrels and nature. We added a ledge to the dining room window for her and our other indoor cat, Fiona.

Fiona, happy cat in the window

This ledge is the preferred cat seat in our home, but when the holidays come and guests arrive, both our cats dash for the safety of our bedroom instead, so we added an additional viewing ledge in our bedroom window just for them. It’s a little thing for us humans, but to our cats, it’s a welcome gift of security and routine

Another tip to a less stressed pet is to keep holiday d├ęcor and foods that are hazardous to our pets away from them! 

The holidays are also a time when there are more treats and food around the house. Guests may not realize that your dog or cat shouldn’t eat table scraps or that they should keep their appetizer plate out of the pet’s reach.

Here is a quick reference list of the most toxic holiday foods for pets to eat:

  • Chocolate, especially dark chocolate
  • Unbaked bread dough
  • Alcohol
  • Sugar-free candy and gum, jelly and baked goods (when ingested, artificial sweeteners can cause a sudden release of insulin in an animal’s body, leading to dangerously low blood sugar)
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Turkey, bones, and other meats with fatty portions
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Onions and garlic

It’s very important to let your holiday guests know that no matter how sweetly our pets may ask for food, we should never give in to temptation! Make sure pets can’t raid the garbage can or eat treats left on plates sitting around the house.

My Cat, Fiona asking for my food, but I resist!

Even with our best efforts, our pets can show signs of stomach upset and GI issues. Here are four signs to watch for:

  • Vomiting
  • Regurgitation
  • Diarrhea
  • Refusal to eat

If you notice these symptoms in your pet you should contact your veterinarian immediately to determine the best course of action. They could actually be signs of an infection, chronic illness or a more serious condition. 

In many cases there are simple solutions. Ask your vet about Royal Canin’s line of veterinary-exclusive gastrointestinal diets. Royal Canin offers multiple options to help veterinarians provide individualized nutritional solutions for pets experiencing gastrointestinal issues. You can learn more about Royal Canin products by visiting their website and by getting social with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Don’t forget to check out My for a host of valuable resources. With a little education and prep work, we can help your pets have a stress-free holiday season which will make ours jolly and bright as well!

Please share in comments: How do you share the holidays with your pets?