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Helping your pet cope in groups of people

It is great to catch up with all the family, but your pet might not be as keen to see lots of new faces in their home. 

We all love a good party or celebration, but before they start we’d encourage pet owners to make sure their pet is in a safe, warm place, away from any potential stress-inducing activity. Some pets will jump right into the commotion, others will prefer to keep away from the activity.  

Dogs

Common signs of a distressed dog can include:

  • Panting
  • Yawning
  • Pinned back ears
  • Excessive drooling

If this occurs, move them to a quieter area of the house where they can feel relaxed and away from the commotion.

If you're celebrating and have a social gathering planned, consider how socialised your dog is to new people and crowds. Before the event starts, tire them out by taking them for a long walk and provide a safe place for them to retreat to if the excitement or nerves becomes too much - ensure they are used to this room in advance. Speak to your vet for further advice.

Read more about anxiety in dogs

Cats

Common signs to look out for in a distressed cat include:

  • Being quieter than usual
  • Pinned back ears
  • Excessive grooming
  • Urinating outside of their litter tray
  • Hissing
  • Holding their tail close to their body
  • Physically shaking

During celebrations, your cat might prefer their own private space to retreat to, as opposed to being around lots of people and loud noise which can cause distress. You can speak to your vet about getting a plug-in pheromone adapter can help soothe cats if they are scared of fireworks, or nervous around crowds of people.

Read more about anxiety in cats

Small Furries

Don’t forget about your small furries such as rabbits and hamsters, when hosting large groups of people. They can experience distress just as much as larger pets like dogs. To keep them happy, move their cage to another, quiet area of the house.