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The holiday season can be stressful, but most people look forward to some relaxation time.

However, this can be the most stressful time of the year for pets, says veterinary behaviourist Dr Aileen Pypers, who also consults at Pets at Play.

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Routines are changing, kids are home from school for the holidays, people are going away, they socialise more, there's spring cleaning....

Dr Aileen Pypers, Veterinary behaviourist

She says owners need to pay more attention to their animals, specifically looking for signs of stress and responding accordingly.

She recommends the website ispeakdog.org for dog owners to help decode body language.

Dr Pypers urges people to consult a professional in the case of a pet that has already shown signs of more serious behavioural problems. These signs include:

  • Showing any kind of aggression in a situation where a pet has been fearful

  • Destroying belongings

  • Vocalising excessively when left alone

The added stress of the holiday season is just going to exacerbate that and it could end in a situation where you are legally liable for the way your pet has responded to something stressful.

Dr Aileen Pypers, Veterinary behaviourist

For more tips and advice, take a listen:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : How to prepare your pet to cope with stress of holiday season

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