Pet companionship helps with Christmas stress management, according to an article in the Integrative Pet Vet column.
Holidays, holiday travel, family, finances, COVID-19, politics, insufficient snow, terrible road conditions, days that are too short, and the list goes on. We frequently get the impression that we are surrounded by stress. Some are self-inflicted, while others are not, but the basic line is that this is a difficult time of year. This is the time of year when I cherish my animal buddies even more. They are always delighted to see me, regardless of how difficult my day has been. I am liked and cherished, as evidenced by the wag, moist nose, lick, and cuddle. Even on the most terrible days, it gives a grin.
Holidays may be stressful, according to mental health professionals. Approximately 75% of Americans are concerned about the holiday season. Thirty-seven percent are concerned about being able to afford holiday expenses such as travel, gifts, and other holiday-related costs; thirty percent are concerned about getting sick from COVID-19 or spreading it; twenty-three percent are concerned about getting along with loved ones, and twenty-one percent are concerned about loneliness.
Although having a pet does not ensure that you will be stress-free, there is evidence that having a pet companion gives significant advantages. According to surveys, 98 percent of pet owners consider their pet to be a member of their family. In addition, 74 percent of pet owners say that having a pet improves their mental health, and 75 percent say that having a pet improves the lives of their family or friends. Increases in secretions like oxytocin, which help to reduce feelings like fear and anxiety and enhance pleasant social interactions, are likely to be the cause of this pet ownership advantage. Pets give emotional support by providing a sense of stability and a regular routine. They also promote greater social encounters, which aid in the formation of friendships.
In terms of human health care savings, the advantages of canine companionship are projected to be worth $11.7 billion. Positive effects on the capacity to respond to infections, maintain healthy blood pressure, control stress, minimize cardiovascular disease, enhance weight management, and reduce psychological disorders are among these advantages. In general, pet owners visit their doctors less frequently than non-pet owners.
Pet companionship is undeniably beneficial to our health, and they also assist us in coping with holiday stress. Pet ownership, on the other hand, is a significant commitment. Pets need fresh food and water on a daily basis, as well as exercise and frequent medical attention.
Holiday stress affects dogs just like it does people. While our dogs assist us in coping with stress, they also require our assistance in managing their own stress responses. Keep their daily routines as consistent as possible. When guests arrive for the holidays, provide a secure location in the house for the pet. Feeding strange meals or too many table scraps, especially those that have been laying out for a long time or are undercooked, should be avoided. Make your house secure from risks such as little ornaments that can be ingested and cause stomach issues, as well as chewable electrical lines. Avoid giving your pet access to potentially harmful foods such as chocolate or marijuana-infused goods.
If your pet is suffering from anxiety, fear, or other concerns, herbal treatments, anti-anxiety nutraceuticals, Bach flower remedies, pheromones, and anti-anxiety pharmaceuticals can all assist. It's always a good idea to have your veterinarian examine your pet to make sure there aren't any physical concerns causing the worry, such as discomfort from osteoarthritis. Consultation with a behavior specialist may be required if you have significant anxiety or other behavioral issues.
Take some time to acknowledge the importance of our pet partners in our life and the wonderful contributions they provide. Recognize that they are unique individuals with physical and emotional needs that must be met during these high-stress periods. Every day, spend a few time with your beloved buddy. It will benefit them as well as you.