Ah, home sweet home. It’s a place you can relax and let your guard down. A place where (usually) you have say over who walks in through your doors.

But your pet doesn’t have the same control over its environment that you do. And this can cause it to experience increased stress.

Raleigh Pawz knows you want to enjoy the fun of the holiday season, and that includes plenty of parties and good cheer. But how do you prevent holiday gatherings from being so hard on your pet?

Ensure plenty of exercise

Everything the experts say about exercise is also true for your pet, and getting adequate exercise is of paramount importance to keeping your pet’s stress levels down. And while you might be more busy than normal, be sure to ramp up your pet’s activity levels so that it is a little more tired than usual — and hopefully, it will end up sleeping through most of the chaos.

Avoid loud noises

One of the biggest stressors for your pet is a sudden loud sound, such as yelling or a doorbell. To avoid a constantly ringing doorbell, consider leaving your door unlocked with a welcome sign, inviting guests to come inside. As more guests arrive, it’s tempting to turn up the holiday music, which may set your pet’s already-frayed nerves on edge. Always keep your pet’s sensitive ears in mind. And always avoid firecrackers and noisemakers of any kind.

Minimize heavily scented holiday decorations and other strong smells

Your pet’s nose is much more sensitive than ours. What we may consider a pleasant holiday aroma may deeply offend your pet’s olfactory system. Scented candles, air fresheners, or holiday-scented soap and cleaning products all can disturb your pet. Also consider asking your guests to avoid wearing perfume or cologne.

Hire a pet sitter or dog walker

If you have a busy holiday schedule, consider hiring a Raleigh Pawz pet sitter or dog walker to ensure your fur baby gets lots of TLC during the holiday season. Keeping your pet in its usual routine will give it a sense of security and help alleviate stress.

Provide toys and games to keep your pet engaged

A new toy or game will help keep your pet occupied during all the commotion. Consider toys or games that provide ample mental stimulation, such as toys filled with hidden treats. Plush toys provide an extra sense of comfort, something your pet will probably need.

Create a quiet space for your pal

Give your pet a quiet space of its own, away from the commotion, preferably on a different floor or the opposite end of the house. Make sure your pet has plenty of food and water, favorite toys, and of course, a comfy place to lounge. Leave a shirt you’ve worn recently so your buddy can be comforted by your familiar scent. And while you might be having a great time, take a few minutes away from your guests to come say hello — preferably with some delicious treats!