Festive Freak-Out: When Holidays Cause Stress in Pets

dog stressed

For us, holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving are a time to get together and celebrate. Through dressing up in fun costumes, enjoying big holiday meals, and adding festive decor around the home, what’s not to love? 

As wonderful as they are, holidays can also create anxiety in pets because there are major changes to the routine, as well as additional commotion and people that your furry one isn’t prepared for.

When holidays cause stress in pets it can put them at risk of escape and becoming lost. Not to mention, nobody enjoys feeling distressed! This is why your friends at Bayshore Animal Hospital and Avian Practice want to step in and give you some recommendations on how to ease your pet into the holidays and create more harmony for them.


Halloween Pet Safety: The Devil Is In the Details

No matter where you live, autumn is a spectacular season. In previous years we might have gone to the Jazz Holiday or Autumn Festival, but this fall looks a bit different. Despite social distancing, however, we feel that many Halloween festivities are bound to continue in some form or another. 

What does this mean for pet owners? That, above all things, Halloween pet safety measures are a must, no matter how the fun goes down.

Is Your Pet Spooked?

Based on demonstrated behavior, your pet may have you convinced they can handle crowds, costumes, and unpredictable noises. It’s important to remember that even the most relaxed dogs can become upset relatively easily on and around Halloween. 

Simply being aware of certain Halloween pet safety measures is a large part of the battle against dangerous situations. Without a doubt, being mindful of all the potential hazards related to the holiday can prevent trouble.

Pet Costumes Can Cause a Fright

Halloween is immensely popular with families, but pets can get in on the fun, too. Between pet costume contests or parades, there’s no shortage of pet-centered festivities. Plus, it’s common to see well-trained, social dogs out trick or treating with the kids.

Pet costumes are adorable, but they can be deeply confusing to pets. Please watch out for any restrictions to movement, visibility, or breathing. If your pet appears uncomfortable or stressed, get your snapshot and remove their costume before they become overwhelmed.

Tricks for Treats

Candy is by far the biggest threat to Halloween pet safety. Chocolate (especially milk chocolate) contains two toxic compounds, caffeine and theobromine, that can cause several worrisome symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. Depending on the dose, seizures and heart failure can occur.

Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, can be found in lots of “sugar-free” candies, mints and gum, and can cause liver failure and even death. 

Candy wrappers can be easily ingested by a hungry, curious pet and may result in dangerous intestinal obstructions. Always scan the floor at home and the ground outside in the days before and after Halloween.


Halloween pet safety should include constant appraisal of a pet’s environment. Decorations look great but if they are loud, animatronic, or flashy they may be scary to pets. Be sure to keep any electric cords off the ground, and remove any fallen choking hazards. 

Remember, candles are hazardous to pets. Jack-o-lanterns look just as cool with LED tea lights! 

Halloween Pet Safety A-Go-Go

Anxiety and stress can be a big part of your pet’s Halloween experience. Encourage your pet to cozy up in a room as far away from the ringing doorbell as possible. This attempt will not only help keep them calm, but limits the possibility of escape. All animals are at risk of disorientation this time of year. Be sure their microchip is updated and they are wearing a collar and ID tags.

If you have questions or concerns about Halloween pet safety, please let us know. Our staff is always here for your pet at Bayshore Animal Hospital & Avian Practice

Tinsel, Turkey, and Tidings, Oh My! Holiday Safety Tips for Pets

The weather outside might not be so frightful here in Florida, but it’s still undeniably the holiday season. And with that comes parties, family gathering, delicious foods, and holiday decorations. 

Unfortunately, there are some very common pet emergencies that coincide with the holiday season. In order to keep your pets safe, some awareness and preparation are in order. Let Bayshore Animal Hospital & Avian Clinic be your guide as we explore holiday safety tips for pets. 


A Crowded House, A Full Table, and Thanksgiving Pet Safety

Smack dab in between the two most beloved American holidays (Halloween and Christmas), we celebrate Thanksgiving. And by celebrating we mean eat, gather with family and friends, eat, play football, eat, and watch football. And maybe eat a little more!

This is, of course, not lost on our furry friends that observe each and every tasty morsel that we enjoy. As a result, a major part of Thanksgiving pet safety hinges on the harvest. But to fully protect your pet this holiday season, your approach should go beyond the vittles.

Caring, Not Sharing

Keeping your pet out of the kitchen and away from the dinner table may be easier said than done. Luckily, there are lots of healthy options to share with your pet, such as:


During the Dog Days of Summer, Follow These Pet Heat Safety Rules

A small white dog wearing black sunglasses lays on a blue towel against the blue backdrop of sky and sea.

When we get to the sticky part of summer, it’s relatively easy for most of us to cool off with relative ease. Our pets, on the other hand, can’t beat the heat at Splash Harbour or Clearwater Ice Arena, like we do. Instead, they pant. And pant. And pant some more… 

Many Floridian pets may seem like they adapt to the weather and humidity, but paying close attention to pet heat safety – particularly this time of year – is of the essence.

Pet Heat Safety 101: Manage Hydration

Perhaps the single, most important way to combat the effects of the heat is to keep your pet hydrated at all times. Always provide cool, fresh water around the house and yard. If you’re out and about, take a collapsible bowl and portable, potable water with you and offer it to your pet often. 


Summer Pet Anxiety and Fireworks Safety

For many, summer is the best time of year, but for our pets, summer is filled with many stressful events. Fireworks, parties, and thunderstorms can all leave your pet a quaking, fearful mess. Even worse, it can lead to attempted pet escapes or result in destructive behavior.

While exposure to some loud noise is inevitable, pet owners can do a lot to help ease pet anxiety. Keep reading to discover some of our best tips for alleviating pet anxiety this summer.