Have a Happy Healthy Holiday Pet

Jacob xmasDid you know that the holiday season can be one of the most stressful time in your companion animal’s life? While we are busy preparing for, stressing over, and celebrating the season, our pet may take on unnecessary stress or become physically ill. But there are some simple things that you can do to have a Happy Healthy Holiday Pet!

Whenever someone talks to me about a physical or behavioral issue their pet is having, I share with them how our companion animals take on our stress (and even medical issues). They are energetically sensitive. I saw this first hand years ago when I would come home from work, fully stressed out, and my cat Sammy would promptly vomit on the floor. BLAH! He was taking in and expelling my stress. Once I realized this and shook off my stress before coming home, he stopped the welcome-home-vomitting! What I do is an energy sweeping technique where you brush your hands a few inches above your body and sweep the energy off. It really does work! And be cautious to keep your stress underhand so that your pet does not take it on.

Lucy xmasIt’s important to keep a consistent schedule with your pet (playtime, cuddle time, going for a walk, etc.). Our schedules can become over burdened during the holidays and that is when our beloved pet may receive less attention from us. As I write this, my cat Lucy is watching me also create a shopping list for two holiday parties I am hosting at my house. I know that she’s shaking her head and wondering how I will get it all done! When we change our schedule with our pets, they do not understand why and may begin to have behavioral issues. So it is important to be consistent with them. Spending time with your pet will also help to reduce your stress. At least that’s what Lucy tells me.

Rudy xmasIf you have a new kitten or puppy, I would highly recommend slowly rolling out your holiday decorations. My cat Rudy (who is one year old) is celebrating his first Christmas in the Phillips home. Rudy has a kitten tendency to eat everything in site (including plastic bags, paper towels, etc.). To make sure that my artificial Christmas tree would be safe, I rolled it out in phases. First I put up the tree with nothing on it. Rudy chewed on it a few times and I stopped him. The next day I added lights and watched Rudy to make sure that he would not chew the wires. Then I added soft ornaments (lest he decide to smack one flying across the room). As you can see in the photo, he has perched himself in the tree (more than once). It can be overwhelming for our small furry friends to suddenly pull out all of our holiday decorations at once. To them, it may be like an amusement park of new play things. Enjoy, but be cautious.

Be careful about bringing in decorations that are poisonous to pets. Check this webpage from the ASPCA on plants and foods that are dangerous. The last thing that you want is for your pet to become sick and for your busy schedule to fit in an emergency room visit. Make sure that your home is holiday safe for your pets.

I’ve created a helpful tip sheet listing 10 things that you can do to keep your pet happy and healthy this holiday season (and throughout the year). So click here, fill out your name and email (I will never ever share it) and you will be taken to a page where you can download it (and loads of other great stuff). When you can follow these ten tips, your pet will be healthy and happy through the holidays, and that will help you to relax.

All my best,

Me xmas walk
Walking Greer (Scottish Terrier) in the Alexandria Scottish Christmas Walk Parade



About Allie:

Allie is a unique combination of self-empowerment coach (Certified Law of Attraction Counselor and Life Coach), energy therapist (Usui Reiki Master-Teacher, Integrated Energy Therapy Master-Instructor, and Advanced Crystal Master), award-winning book author, attorney and nationally-recognized animal advocate. Whether it’s wanting more freedom, creativity, loving relationships, financial security, wellbeing, relaxation, or adjusting to the energy of our new world … she looks at each person and animal holistically and creates a well-being plan. She holistically combines these methods to help people gain control of their lives and to help animals live with comfort in our hectic world. It worked for her and will work for you!  She particularly loves helping our animal companions because for those of us who have them grace our worlds, they are our soul mates.

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Happy Holiday Pets

Let’s see a show of hands … how many of you are already stressed out over the holidays? Many of you have family arriving (or are expecting to travel), have a lengthy to-do list of gifts to purchase, and are worried about money. Many people look forward to, yet dread, the holiday season. Did you know that your companion animals pick up on your worry and stress and can manifest an illness or behavioral problem?

Companion animals are like magnets to their people; they know when we are sick or stressed and try to comfort us. But in their compassion, they also take on our stress so that it is lessened on us. So what’s a person to do to have a happy holiday pet?

1. Don’t change the quality or quantity of time that you spend with your pet. A sudden change, including ignoring your pet, can result in your companion animal getting your attention in a negative way.

Lucy helping with decorations

2. Shake off your negative or stressful energy before you enter your home. I like to do a sweeping technique where I take my right hand and brush 2 inches above my body down the left side (sweeping the energy down) and then switching hands. It takes 5-10 seconds and you will notice a calmer you. Or you can ground yourself by touching nature (yes, be a tree hugger) or simply do a few rounds of deep breathing.

3. Give your pets a safe and quiet space in your home for when family and visitors are around. Some pets thrive around visitors, whereas others feel stressed.

4. Be sensitive to what your pet wants (not what you want). If your pet enjoys visitors, include them in on the festivities and being a part of your family. If your pet is nervous around visitors, do not force them to interact.

My Sammy Elf (rest in peace)

5. If you are going away for a day or more, find care for your pet that benefits your pet. For most pets, this would include a doggy walker or pet sitter that comes to your home. While it may be easier for you to place your pet at a boarding facility, is that really what is best for your pet?

6. Be consistent in your pet’s diet. If you do not feed table scraps, then do not start during the holidays. Your cat may be thrilled if you have Tom the Turkey on your dining room table. But if your cat does not eat human-grade food, then partaking in Tom can upset the tummy.

7. Be cautious of live holiday plants that you bring into your home (or while walking your dog). Here are some lists of plants that are poisonous to pets: from VetMedicine and from the ASPCA Poison Control Center. Also be sure to read the labels on pet toys to make sure they were made with safe materials.

Oscar helping me wrap presents (rest in peace)

8. Talk to your pet! Tell them what is going on, parties that have been planned, visitors that are expected, and any change in schedule. You may think they do not understand, but they really do.

9. Consider calming techniques such as: energy healing (Reiki, crystal healing); engaging in touch with your pet (just hold your hands on your pet’s heart and back for a few minutes); natural calming products such as Feliway, Comfort Zone or Rescue Remedy; and playing soothing music in the room for your pet during parties. Or give me a call to come over and provide energy therapy to your pet(s) or do so remotely, and even check out the new line of Elixirs that are infused with healing crystals and Reiki.

Jacob waiting for Santa Paws

10. And lastly, show gratitude to your companion animal(s) during the holiday season and thank them for being a beautiful part of your life. And for those companions who have passed on (like my Oscar and Sammy this year), thank them for being your guardian angels.

If you or someone you know love animals, get a copy of my book Defending the Defenseless: A Guide to Protecting and Advocating for Pets which makes a purrfect stocking stuffer!


Holiday blessings,

Allie & Jacob (now an official member of the Phillips family)
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