While we may love the rush and chaos of costumes, trick or treating, family over for feasts, seasonal music, and trees inside, these things can really throw a little animal in to a tizzy. We can take some steps to make the fall and early winter much easier on our animal friends...and maybe prevent some stress-related illnesses or behavior problems along the way.
Remember to think like a little tiny animal. Would you be afraid?
Little animals are frightened by big noises. Halloween sound effects, dogs barking at trick or treaters, big family gatherings, noisy present opening...all these things can seem like alarms to your rabbit or guinea pig. Maybe move them to the far corner of the house, where they can feel safer.
Strangers can be frightening to rabbits and guinea pigs too. Especially if you aren't right there with them to lend them courage. If you will be having a gathering of more than just a few people, you may want to move Muffin and Daisy up to the guest suite for the evening.
Visitors can't help but be charmed by The Cuteness, and will most likely want to at least pat if not pick up your animal. We humans can hardly help ourselves. But your rabbit or guinea pig is already feeling stressed, so this is not a good time to be handing your little pal around for intros. This is especially true if there are small children coming to your home who may get access to your animal without your adult supervision.
Consider moving your rabbit or guinea pig to a safe haven for the time you will be entertaining. Don't forget to move the litter box, water bowl, and toys your animal is already accustomed to - they want their own stuff around them.
You may also want to put on some soothing music in the safe haven, to help drown out the human celebrations. Zen Tranquility can also help a great deal.
If you are traveling this year, don't forget to line up your perfect pet sitter early!