A Holistic Vet's Guide to Keeping Your Pets Safe During Holiday

A Holistic Vet's Guide to Keeping Your Pets Safe During Holiday

The holiday season, while filled with joy and celebration for us, can be a challenging time for our pets, exposing them to various health risks. This article, drawing from holistic veterinary practices, reveal some pet wellness tips to help pet owners through the holiday season safely, ensuring our furry friends' health and happiness.

Why do Pets Get Sick Around Holiday?

Despite the festive cheer, the holiday season can paradoxically increase health risks for pets. Factors such as dietary and environmental changes, travel, and the bustling environment contribute to stress, which, coupled with the anxiety humans may experience, creates a storm of health risks. This period often sees a spike in pet health issues, from dietary indiscretions to stress-induced illnesses. Recognizing this can help pet owners take steps to mitigate these risks.

Another reason for the increased illness in pets around the holidays I believe it stems from the emotional weight we place on making the holiday season perfect, from the emphasis on purchasing gifts to hosting family gatherings, all amid the commercial frenzy that has overshadowed what should ideally be a peaceful and joyous time with our loved ones. For those of us devoted to the faiths that celebrate these holidays, it's meant to be a period of happiness, forgiveness, and joy. Instead, it often turns into a frantic rush, leaving many feeling hollow inside.

Consider how our pets might perceive our behaviors during this time. They detect our fear, panic, haste, and distraction from the very things that enrich our lives, including our relationship with them. If they have been shouldering a significant emotional load for us already, the added stress of the holidays could push them into a state of full-blown illness. My intention is not to induce guilt but to raise awareness. Being conscious of this dynamic gives us the opportunity to initiate change.

Our Pets Mirror Our Well-being

Our pets share a profound bond with us, mirroring our emotions and physical states with extraordinary sensitivity. This unique ability enables them to reflect our own health issues, a phenomenon that is supported by both anecdotal evidence and scientific research. Changes in our behavior or periods of emotional distress significantly impact our pets, influencing their health and behavior. My personal experience, particularly with my dog Esau's illness amidst my own health struggles, highlights the deep interconnectedness between our well-being and that of our pets.

Dr. Xie, my mentor, has often emphasized that a pet's illness can serve as a catalyst for us to confront and reconcile with our own personal challenges. While this concept might initially seem far-fetched, it encourages us to explore the deep, symbiotic relationship we share with our pets. Recognizing this bond provides a compelling reason to manage our stress more effectively, ultimately promoting the well-being of both ourselves and our pets, and underscoring the importance of nurturing this relationship for mutual health benefits.

Pet Wellness Tips During the Holidays

Coping with pet illness during the holiday season can be particularly challenging. Amidst what is supposed to be a joyful time, dealing with a sick pet can bring about feelings of stress, sadness, and worry. When faced with a pet's illness during the holiday season, it's vital to approach the situation with compassion and resilience. Here are some pet wellness tips to help you manage the situation while keeping the holiday spirit alive:

how to manage pet sick during holiday

For Manageable Illness

  • Prioritize their well-being and discuss the care options with your vet or a certified holistic pet health coach
  • Maintain a quiet space at home with their favorite comforts.
  • Watch for any shifts in behavior or health, acting quickly on concerns.
  • Let your pet partake in holiday activities in a subdued manner to keep them involved.
  • Keep emergency kit for your pet handy for quick action
  • Tailor holiday customs to accommodate your pet's needs, creating new, quieter celebrations together.

For Serious Illness

  • Keep up with prescribed medications and appointments. Consult with a Holistic Pet Health Coach online if you’re unable to visit a vet during holiday
  • Consider all health decisions carefully, consulting family and veterinarians.
  • Minimize stress in your home with a peaceful environment.
  • Lean on friends, family, or support groups for emotional comfort.
  • Use in-home vet services if traveling is too strenuous.
  • Keep emergency contacts handy for quick action and also always provide the emergency kit for your pet.

To prevent holiday stress from impacting your pets, effectively managing your own stress is essential for a more tranquil holiday season. Start by planning your activities and responsibilities well in advance to avoid the chaos of last-minute rushes. It's important to set realistic expectations, accepting that imperfections are part of life and that not everything will unfold as planned. Prioritizing self-care is also crucial; make sure to allocate time for activities that help you relax and rejuvenate, such as reading, meditation, or enjoying a quiet moment alone. 


Understanding and mitigating the unique challenges pets face during the holiday season is key to ensuring their health and happiness. By acknowledging our pets' sensitivity to our emotions and stress levels, we can take proactive steps to create a supportive and safe environment for them. This holiday season, let's commit to prioritizing our pets' well-being, fostering a joyful and peaceful time for the whole family.

  • Holiday Health Risks for Pets: The festive season can paradoxically increase health risks for pets due to dietary and environmental changes, travel, and stress from bustling environments. Awareness of these risks is crucial for prevention.
  • Emotional Impact on Pets: Pets are deeply attuned to our emotions and can mirror our stress, anxiety, and even health issues. Managing our own stress effectively is vital to prevent it from negatively affecting our pets.
  • Strategies for Coping with Pet Illness: Whether facing manageable or serious illness, maintaining routine, ensuring comfort, observing changes, and including pets in holiday activities in a subdued manner can help manage their health. For serious illnesses, focusing on comfort, making informed decisions, creating a calm environment, valuing time together, and seeking support are essential steps.
  • Self-care for Pet Owners: To minimize the impact of holiday stress on pets, pet owners should plan activities in advance, set realistic expectations, prioritize self-care, and engage in stress-reducing activities.
  • Creating a Safe, Joyful Holiday Season: By adjusting holiday traditions to accommodate pets' needs, ensuring a peaceful environment, and cherishing the moments with our furry friends, we can ensure a safe and joyful holiday season for our pets and ourselves.