Anxious Pets at Thanksgiving, Here’s What To Do


Thanksgiving is a time of family celebration, for all – including four-legged family members – sitting around the TV to catch the National Dog Show presented by Purina on NBC at noon.

All cats should have an available hiding place

Some pets might get off on all the bedlam and the attention focused in their direction. However, other pets at Thanksgiving might get kind of freaked out.

If you’re unsure about what the response is going to be, especially for cats, offer a secret hideaway where kitty can get away from it all. This hideaway must be free of unruly relatives, particularly little kids or well-meaning aunties insisting “here kitty, kitty.”

If you do have an idea that your pet might be anxious around the Thanksgiving Day crowd, take down that anxiety a few notches.

Begin planning in advance, if possible and get a nutraceutical on board to deal with low-level anxiety days before Thanksgiving, (These may can be purchased online or through your veterinarian). There are countless choices but the following two can be backed up with science.

  • ANXITANE: (L-Theanine) Containing a pure synthetic form of L-Theanine, an amino acid naturally found in green tea leaves; these chewable tabs encourage relaxation.
  • Zylkene: Demonstrates grandma was right about a glass of warm milk being relaxing. Zylkene contains bovine-sourced hydrolyzed milk protein, an ingredient with calming properties.

You might also consider plugging in a pheromone diffuser.

This is an excellent Thanksgiving Day show

One great treatment for anxious pets are closed doors where you can redirect or distract using food puzzles or toys (assuming the pets won’t battle over food and/or toys). And for cats, there’s another potential secret weapon, catnip.

You can turn on a talk radio station or the TV to kind of drown out the rowdy relatives. Or calming classical music can help, including music specifically composed to relax pets. Examples are is ICalm which includes various packages of tunes designed to calm dogs or cats. Victoria Stilwell offers calming music on her site, and A Sound Beginning is another example of calming music created for dogs.

While the family watches The Thanksgiving Day Three Stooges special, some cats and dogs will watch videos of fish, birds (hopefully not turkeys) or chipmunks.

As for treats with hemp or CBD to calm pets when the family visits for Thanksgiving, the jury is still out. No doubt, we’ll know more soon about what the products can do, and which ones are recommended as being unregulated, not all CBD products are equivalent.

Again, the point is – if you have a pet you know will likely be stressed by the company – now the time to have a plan of action.