It’s beginning to look like the holidays. While we love (or maybe loathe) the season, it is a time when things can become stressful, not only for people, but also for pets.
Anxiety is often sensed by pets: If things are rushed and stress is in the air, pets know it. They can become anxious if the suitcases come out, or if the decorations come down from the attic and the house is being rearranged.
Try to keep the routine as normal as possible for the four-legged family members. Remember to secure pets if visitors arrive. For most pets, it is safer to relegate them to a room where they will not be part of the action. Dogs can become nervous with strangers in their home. If a pet is not used to kids and you have guests with small children, the dog may be uncomfortable. Cats usually disappear and go somewhere to avoid crowds.
This also is a time when front doors open continually, and pets can get out and become lost. The holidays are at the top of the list as the season for missing pets. To avoid a runaway pooch or kitty during your holiday party, put them in a bedroom or another secure area for the duration of the festivities.
Table food is a no-no for pets. While you may not feed them people food, guests may slip Fido a snack or two that can have negative effects on his digestive system later.
If travel is in your plans, make boarding reservations early for pets, as spots fill up quickly this time of year.
In the spirit of giving, consider volunteering at a local shelter or rescue for a few hours. Volunteers are hard to come by due to travel obligations, holiday festivities and school breaks. A few hours can make the holidays a little brighter for a shelter animal, and it will be appreciated more than you know by the shelter staff.
NATIONAL ADOPT A SENIOR MONTH: During November, the Louisiana SPCA will offer a reduced adoption fee of $11 for all pets 8 years and older. Visit www.la-spca.org/adoptables for information.
Regular adoption procedures apply.
BLUES FESTIVAL: Animal Rescue New Orleans and the Jefferson SPCA will be at the Cops 2 2nd District Blues Festival at Palmer Park, South Carrollton and South Claiborne avenues, New Orleans, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with adoptable dogs and information on volunteering and fostering. For more info: www.2nddistrictbluesfest.com
FEET FIRST ADOPTION: Off-site pet adoption, sponsored by the Louisiana SPCA, at Feet First, 4122 Magazine St., from noon to 3 p.m. SPCA adoption counselors and volunteers will be on hand to help you select the right pet for your family. A variety of shapes, colors and sizes of four-legged friends eager to find a new home will be available. Call 504-368-5191 or visit www.la-spca.org for information.
JEFFERSON FEED ADOPTION: Jefferson Feed Pet Adoption Day, 4421 Jefferson Highway, Jefferson, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come meet your new best friend from the Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter.
LOST OR FOUND PETS: In Orleans Parish, you can send a photo, description of your pet, date lost/found and your contact info to email@example.com, in Jefferson Parish send to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com and in St. Bernard Parish send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a nonprofit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter. Contact ARNO at email@example.com, www.animalrescueneworleans.org or call our recorded information line at 504.571.1900.