Pets notice everything, even the slightest change in your household, and the holiday season is loaded with new activities – visiting guests, holiday decorating, much more cooking than usual, changes in your time away, changes in their feeding schedules. All of this can turn your dog’s naturally calm demeanor into a frazzled, mischievous alter ego.
Here are some easy-to-follow tips to keep your dog calm during the busy holidays and throughout the year.
Calming Tips for Your Dog
As a loving pet parent, you’ll want to make sure your dog enjoys the holidays along with family and friends. Here are some tips that can help keep the “chill” in the holiday for your dog:
- Keep her as close to her regular schedule as possible – this includes food, grooming and exercise. When schedules get disrupted, it causes stress for your dog.
- Limit the amount of travel that you do with your dog and, more importantly, without her. If you choose to travel, make sure you accommodate her comfort and safety needs, and take familiar blankets, toys and treats.
- Limit the number of guests that come over to your house or assess the overload factor for your dog. If you have small children coming that pester your dog, put her in a quiet room with a low volume radio or TV.
- Depending on your dog’s level of curiosity and mischievousness, you may want to keep presents and holiday decorations out of reach during those times when you’re not around. They may be too much of a temptation for your dog.
- Food and treats are abundant during the holidays. As much as your dog may beg, table scraps are not good for her, so don’t indulge her and ask your guests not to either.
- Ask your guests to leave their pets at home, especially if these pets are not familiar with each other. Your dog has enough to juggle with the human guests, and a new pet in the mix may end up in a competitive confrontation.
- Create an escape for your dog by taking them for a walk or run to reduce stress. Both you and your dog will come back to the holiday buzz more refreshed and able to shoulder the next stress factor more easily.
- Pick her holiday outfit with care and sensitivity. Avoid collars with bells or tight-fitting head gear. While you may enjoy it, she won’t. A holiday scarf or ribbon will be just as festive and much more soothing for her.
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