The holidays are here! This can be such an exciting time for the entire family. However, while we humans enjoy the company of friends and family during this time, the extra company might cause stress to our furry friends. Here are some tips on how to help your dog survive the holiday season:
Always give your dog a place to escape from all of the festivities.
o Some dogs get really stressed out with extra company around and need an escape from the chaos. Keep his kennel open and in an easily accessible area or keep the bathroom door open so that he has a safe place to go. Always make sure that your dog has an escape route and never feels cornered. Even the sweetest and friendliest dog can bite when he feels cornered.
Always supervise interactions with children.
o This is especially important if your dog does not live with children. Children don’t usually know how to interact with dogs and will often times pull on their ears and poke them in unpleasant places. Not every dog can deal with children. Once again, even if your dog is the sweetest dog ever, that doesn't mean he won’t bite when a child pokes his eye.
A tired dog is a happy dog.
o Make sure that your dog gets enough exercise and mental stimulation. A bored dog with pent-up energy will cause mayhem and destruction all over your holiday festivities. This tip is important for all times of the year, but during the holidays this is especially important. Exercise allows your dog to release his energy and he won’t be as hyperactive around your guests and he is less likely to tear down the Christmas tree you spent hours putting up just right. It would be a very good idea to take your dog for a long walk or trip to the dog park before guests arrive so that he is tired out and less likely to jump all over your guests.
Routines are important to your dog.
o Dogs are creatures of habit. They know exactly what time they get walked and fed, and they don’t even know how to tell time! When you mess up a dog’s routine, it’s most likely going to cause some stress. With so much going on around the holidays with guests and festivities, it’s important to reduce as much stress as possible for your pooch. This means, try to keep on the same routine as usual as much as possible.
Before the holidays approach, brush up on some basic commands.
o If your dog has a basic knowledge of commands such as sit, stay, and down, it will be very helpful when guests arrive. When they show up, you can put your dog in a down stay to avoid the overexcitement to new people. This allows your guests to get settled before being bombarded with love from your fur-baby.
You know your dog best.
o In the end, you know your dog better than anyone else. If you know that your dog is anxious and nervous with new people, it might be best to kennel your dog or put him in another room while they are over. They will be less stressed out this way and there is no chance that he will bite out of fear, which can cause a damper on all the joy and cheer of the holiday season.
And remember - if you think that you need some help with all this, Dog Pros To Go is here to help! We walk, we sit, we train. Making it easier for YOU.