The holidays are exciting for most people. It’s the season of parties, reunions, and gift-giving. Wherever you are, there’s something fun to take part in. And that sense of gaiety that emanates from you can be contagious.
It can’t be helped for such a level of unbridled joy to rub off on your pets. They, too, can sense that there’s something extra special happening based on the collective joy that exudes from everyone. As a result, they also become susceptible to post-holiday blues.
While there’s nothing wrong with treating your pets during the holidays and pampering them more than you usually do, it’s important to be prepared for when the prolonged party’s over. Come that time, you must do everything in your power not to throw them off the loop.
Helping Your Pets Overcome Post-Holiday Blues
In all likelihood, you could attest to how bad the post-holiday blues can be. For all you know, your furry companion could be going through the same. So, here’s how you can be a better human to your doggos, cattos, and other pets after the merry season.
1. Watch out for common signs
A sad pet mirrors a sad human. They become prone to oversleeping, may show a lack of interest in stuff that gave them joy before, and have trouble eating, which eventually manifests in weight loss.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s safe to conclude that your pet is sad, if not sick. Do not wait for an expert to confirm your suspicion; do whatever you can to cheer them up. As a rule of thumb, the same stuff that gets you out of seasonal spells of sadness may work on your furry companion.
2. Early morning walk
Perhaps you’re used to waking up just early enough for you to have ample prep time before you head out for work.
If you’re sure that your dog is sad, compromise—wake up earlier so that you can devote at least half an hour for an early morning walk with them. The early morning sun rays will do you both good. Most importantly, they will benefit from physical activity. They, too, will feel those happy hormones shooting through their brains. When it’s time to go home, you’ll notice that your pup’s all cheered up.
3. Bonding time
The holidays probably meant you had less work or skipped work altogether. And your pets must have gotten used to having you around all the time, ready for both cuddles and play. Of course, it’s understandable for your pet to feel down once all that is over.
We’re not suggesting that you ditch work so that you can keep your pet happy. But make sure you squeeze into your daily schedule some bonding moments with your pets, no matter how busy you get. Don’t make them feel ignored and neglected if you don’t want a depressed pet unwittingly spreading gloom all over the house.
4. Change your pet’s daily routine, if only a little
While pets benefit from a fixed daily schedule, sometimes the routine gets old and boring. That’s most true if that routine comes after a hectic holiday season where habits probably got a little too thrilling. In such a case, your pet might suffer from a sudden lack of interest. That can be mitigated with a simple tweak here and there.
Perhaps your pup is used to having his daily dose of cuddles in the evening while you get ready for bedtime. Why not administer that feel-good medicine early in the morning, the moment you wake up? That’ll make them feel like something good is happening.
5. Joy ride
Dogs get acquainted with the world through their noses. And if they’re smelling the same variety of olfactory delights day in and day out, they may get bored. A joy ride with open windows will remedy that situation. Let your doggo hang their head out the window. Have their ears dance in the wind. And most importantly, let that nose smell all the weird smells the world has to offer.
6. New toys
Even if your pet is technically elderly, they are still very much a toddler at heart. Like your youngest offspring or cute niece or nephew, they’ll appreciate a new toy or two—if you can take them with you to the pet shop so they can pick their own toy, the better. Don’t think of this as you bribing them to be happy. Think of it as you being a good provider, attuned to what will make your companion happy.
Schedule a pet date with the rest of the fur parents in your neighborhood. Or, take your doggo to a park at least once a week. Let them hang out and have fun with their kind, which is crucial to their well-being. Keep in mind that dogs, like humans, are social creatures. They get a kick out of sniffing other dogs’ butts and whatnots.
Who knows, this might be an excellent opportunity for you to meet new people, too. If you’re single and get lucky, you may even find your soulmate this way. Should that happen, there’ll be no more post-holiday blues for you.
Be Merry and Bright All Year Round
Humans and animals are creatures of habit. Once we get used to something, its sudden disappearance can throw us off. That’s quite true for the holidays. For almost a month, we go through one blissful experience after another.
Sometimes, we forget how that much fun is just temporary. And after it’s over, all we’re left with are happy memories. For most of us, those memories are enough to get us through until the next holiday season.
The same cannot be said for our furry companions. They do not have the same sense of judgment as we do. They get confused if, after a long stretch of parties, there’s nothing but calm and quiet. That is why they need our help. Try the tips above if you think your pet is going through post-holiday blues. Your doggo or catto will thank you.