HOW TO MAKE YOUR PETS LESS AFRAID OF HOUSE GUESTS
With the holidays fast approaching, we thought it would be great to give a few tips on how to help your pets feel less afraid and more comfortable when having house guests. Using these tools, you can help your pet feel confident and secure in their home while you’re entertaining friends and family any time of year! Happy pets = happy families!
No knocking or doorbells!
Have you witnessed your pet racing out of the room as soon as that doorbell rings? Many scaredy cats and dogs associate the sound of the doorbell or knocking as a scary, negative thing, knowing that strangers will be entering their home. Let your friends know that you are working on helping your pet feel less afraid, and have them call you when they arrive. You can meet them outside and walk in together.
Come bearing gifts (treats!)
Once your guest enters your home, have them give your pet a “jackpot treat*” to entice them to use their senses in the presence of your visitors. Your guest can just drop the treat on the ground by your pet; it doesn’t need to be directly from hand to animal. This technique helps to build the pet’s confidence amidst the “stranger.” Most animals love treats, and they usually love people that give them treats as well, which can create a positive association with visitors.
* “jackpot treat” — A treat you KNOW your pet LOVES (jackpot!) that is given only during training, to positively reinforce desired behavior.
Give them space
Though it may be tempting for guests to seek out your pet to stroke or hold them, this isn’t a great idea. The best thing to do is nothing! Do not allow your guests to throw themselves at your pet, and do not force your pet onto your guests. Animals (especially cats!) want to come over and explore on their own time and their own terms. Forcing them onto your guests will only scare them and create a negative experience that they may not forget. Give them their space and once they are comfortable, they will come and check everything out on their own.
Spirit Essences formulas that may help ease your pets stress and fear while having guests:
Stress Stopper is formulated to help animals adapt and cope with unusual or stressful situations, such as thunderstorms, boarding, remodeling, visitors, or similar situations. This remedy is designed to help animals feel grounded and protected. You can administer Stress Stopper a couple of days prior to the date that your guests will arrive, which will help ease their stress and keep them feeling secure in their home. Stress Stopper is formulated for all animals!
Scaredy Cat is formulated for the very shy, timid, or fearful cat who runs from every little noise, or who lives in the closet or under the bed. This is for more extreme cases when your cat is terrified of not only visitors, but most noises and situations. Scaredy Cat is formulated specifically for cats! For dogs and horses, check out Nervous Nelly.
We hope these tips help to ease not only your pet’s stress, but your stress as well!