We know that our canine companions are part of the family and, of course, we want them to be with us during these festive times. The holidays can bring us lots of cheer, but sometimes they can bring us, and our canine companions, stress and anxiety. Often, our routines change, we are traveling with or without them, and there are more friends, dogs, and family around. This can cause some dogs and humans to be out of sorts as they are not used to this level of activity or change. What can we do to help our canine companions be more comfortable? We can try to keep our schedule the same or change it ahead of time, perhaps gradually so you and your canine companion get used to an adjusted schedule for feeding, walks, or other activities.
Secondly, know what your dog's limits are. Some dogs prefer to not be around large gatherings of humans and strange dogs, while other dogs thrive on that attention. If lots of people or strange dogs being in the house stresses your canine companion, let’s adjust for this as well. Perhaps ask out-of-town guests to not bring their pets or, have a plan ahead of time for how the additional pets will be managed. If your home will be the gathering place, contemplate if your dog would prefer to be away from it all with something extra special to chew or eat. You can have your canine companion’s favorite people come in for a short visit if appropriate.
A bit of planning and thinking through how you and your canine companions will deal with the holiday festivities will enable us to keep the Grinch away!
From our Family to Yours, Happy Holidays!