By Cory Warren
Published: 12/20/2018, edited: 01/30/2020
The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone — even your dog. From ringing doorbells to package deliveries to guests coming and going, all the hustle and bustle can really jingle your dog’s bells.
On top of that, there’s all the time you’ll spend away from home, dashing from one holiday party to another. Leave your poor pup home alone for too long and you may find a snowman-sized puddle in your living room or a few lumps near your stocking that aren’t coal.
Stress and anxiety can also cause your dog to act out and chew things she isn’t supposed to, including those wrapped gifts under your tree or those shiny ornaments hanging from its branches. Inappropriate chewing isn’t only destructive, it can also be dangerous for your dog.
To help soothe your dog's holiday stress and lower the risks of accidents, may we suggest the following tips?
Run, run, Rudolph! Whether you play fetch with your dog, take her with you on your morning run, or hire a Wag! walker to take your dog for a stroll. Exercise is key to a relaxed, content dog. It helps your dog burn energy and work out any excess stress so she’ll be ready to rest when you leave for a party or welcome guests into your home.
All is calm: Dogs are den animals and like to be able to retreat to a safe, quiet area when there’s a lot of commotion or noise, especially if they’re not accustomed to it. Designate a room or use her crate to create a safe space far away from the action.
Keep her off the naughty list with something gnaw-ty: Offer your dog plenty of her favorite toys to keep her entertained. Ensure the toys are safe for her to chew on while you’re out of the room. Check for any rips, tears or loose parts that could become dislodged and pose a choking risk.
Ramp up the reindeer games: If your dog is high-energy or really just loves a challenge, add an interactive toy or game to her play stash. This can be as simple as a Kong or similar toy stuffed with treats that fall out as she knocks and tosses it around. Filling the toy with peanut butter or cheese and then freezing it can make for a long-lasting treat.
Baby, your dog’s got to go outside: We all know holiday parties can go on longer than you expect, and with the holiday traffic, seven swans a-swimming would make it to your house sooner than you. And, cold or not, your dog’s got to go outside. Prevent unnecessary messes by scheduling your Wag! walker to come over and give your dog a much-needed potty break when you can't be there.
With just a little planning and preparation, you can help make the season happier and less stressful for you and your dog.
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