The holidays are a time of great stress for all of us. We are running in and out of the house, guests coming in and out, in and out all the time. The shopping, the crowds, the pace….the STRESS. If we are that stressed from all of the craziness of the holidays, imagine how our dogs feel with all those extra adults and kids right in their faces every day, the additional time that they are left alone at home while we are gone for the holiday parties. Imagine the anxiety they must feel as they look at that tasty, yummy turkey sitting on the counter, only to have us yelling no! at them every time they look at it.
Oh yes, the holidays are just as stressful on your canine friend as they are on you. During this time of the year here are a few things you can do to help your canine friend be less stressed (and help your own stress level while you’re at it):
- When you have guests coming, take your dog to the basement or a bedroom so they can relax while you are entertaining. If your furry friend likes to be part of the activities, give them a safe place they can go to get away from the crazy holiday activities, should they feel the need.
- When your guests arrive, let them know that your dog might not like them in their space. If your dog is enjoying the holiday activities, let your guests know the rules of the house (ie: they should not feed your dog from their plates).
- If your dog is high energy and easily stimulated, you might think about taking your dog to a doggie day care during the day to tire them out and get them some exercise, so that during the party they can rest in the bedroom and they’ll calm down faster from the stimulation.
- For dinner times, work with your dog to lie quietly on a mat or his bed while you eat. Enforce these rules even during parties and the dog will be comforted by the routine, helping them calm down more quickly.
Following some simple tips during the holidays can help both you and your dog be less stressed. More holiday tips to come in future articles.
What do you like to do with you canine companion during the holidays?