The holidays are coming!
Holidays and dogs aren’t always a great combination. People enjoy getting together with others, having parties, and formal dinners. Dogs, however, stress out over all the strangers and noise, as well as routines that are disrupted.
Whether you have people come to your house or you go somewhere else, it’s likely to affect your dog in one way or another.
If you have people come over, your dog is likely to get nervous about the strangers. As things get louder than normal, that might increase the anxiety.
When you go someplace else, it’s likely that the normal routine will be thrown off. Even if everything else is pretty normal, this can also affect your dog since they are usually routine oriented.
Holidays and dogs; some things you can do to help your dog.
There are several steps you can take to help keep things as normal as possible. Although some change is inevitable, anything you can do to minimize the anxiety will help.
- The first step is to KNOW your dog. Seems simple, right? But how well do you really know them? Do you know the top few situations that make them nervous? How do they react and how severely do they react?
- Once you know these things about your dog, you can anticipate when the problems will come up and put together a plan to help them through it.
- Holidays and dogs equal anxiety for your dog. You can try one or more methods of reducing anxiety. Items like thundershirts, CBD oil, meds from the vet, calming music, exercising to wear off anxious energy, etc., can all be helpful. But they may not work on your dog for a particular situation. Having several approaches means a greater chance of success.
- Do what you can to keep up the normal routine. Dogs often feel a sense of peace when their days go as expected. Try to feed at normal times and go for walks on schedule.
- If you can, be there for your dog. You provide a whole lot of security to them. If you can’t be there, try to have a safe place like a kennel, a comfy bed, or a favorite toy.
- After the situation, evaluate what worked and what didn’t. You now have a chance to refine your approach so next time, things can be even better for your dog.
Make the holidays as enjoyable as possible for your dog
It’s a given. Holidays and dogs present challenges that need to be addressed. Ignoring them only increases the stress. However, having a plan for working through any issues can help you and your dog enjoy this time of year.
For some ideas on managing stress, here are some posts that might help.
Or this post from PetMD.
I hope you and your dog or dogs fly through this holiday season without a hitch. I’d love to hear how you address any issues that come up. Tell me about it in the comments below.