Christmas is a lovely time for the entire family, but it can also be a rather hectic period full of new changes in routine, fireworks, and never-ending visits from friends and relatives.
While humans appreciate this as part of the holiday season, it can be a perplexing time for our dogs, full of potential stress and anxiety in which their predictable environment changes – and their behavior suffers as a result.
We offer expert tips on how to control your dog’s behavior throughout the holiday season so that Christmas stays a happy and pleasurable holiday for you and your four-legged companion.
Ensure their routine remains as normal as possible
Christmas may disrupt not just your schedule but also your dog’s routine, so despite the festivities, it’s crucial to make as many things as regular as possible to help your dog feel more confident and relaxed.
Dogs crave comfort in a regular pattern, so despite the chaos, keeping food times, exercise, and other activities on the same schedule as normal is the key to having a happy pooch over Christmas.
Although our canine friends may modify their pattern over time, such as when the clocks change, unexpected changes, along with all the strange sights, sounds, and unique sensations that Christmas provides, might lead dogs to feel agitated, concerned, or apprehensive.
If everything else in their lives is routine and predictable, they are significantly more likely to cope with the unusual stuff.
Ensure they get enough exercise
Making sure your dog gets adequate exercise on Christmas Day and throughout the holiday season is critical to keeping them calm and comfortable, since nothing creates a wild Christmas canine like too much energy and frustration.
Taking your dog for a walk is not only a terrific way to engage with them and have fun, but the fresh air and chance to run around will also help keep their bodies and minds busy, which means they are more likely to be calm among company and enjoy all the magic of Christmas.
Don’t forget that an additional stroll for the whole family on Boxing Day is a terrific way to work off all the Christmas Day indulgences.
Get them Christmas treats too
The thought of giving your furry friends some yummy treats for their Christmas is an awesome idea. With all of the lovely food aromas filling the air over the holidays, our pets may find our meals appealing enough to try. However, regardless of how delicious they may appear to humans, many human foods can be harmful to our dogs. You may make your animal family members feel included with their own Christmas treats from Vitakraft, the renowned international pet food and treat manufacturer that has been warming the hearts of dogs and their owners for over 180 years. Let us celebrate the bond between family and pets this holiday season with tasty holiday treats for those cherished friends, including delicacies tailored to the individual preferences and needs of each pet.
Give your dog a safe space to retreat away from guests
Christmas brings many visitors to your home that your dog may not know – and may not feel comfortable with. Too much attention, noise, or environmental stimulation might overwhelm even dogs that like meeting new people. This can result in undesirable behaviors.
Therefore, it is critical to create a secure spot away from the bustling festivities where they may unwind. Make sure your dog can enter this area whenever they want and that they may rejoin the celebration when they are feeling more at peace. Feeling isolated from you and other members of your home can cause worry, tension, and dissatisfaction.
Make this refuge as cozy as possible by providing fresh water and home comforts such as blankets and safe toys that will help them feel at ease and completely calm.
Pay them plenty of attention
With the holidays in full flow, it’s easy to get caught up in talks or festive activities with friends and family, but that doesn’t mean you should forget about your furry buddy.
Remember that your dog is a member of the family as well, so take time away from your visitors to spend time with your dog, whether it’s going for a walk, playing games, or simply resting together.
When your dog is in the mood for a party, keep an eye on them at all times to ensure that they are happy with your visitors – and that your guests are acting friendly towards them.
If the activities become too rough or your dog appears to be overwhelmed, urge them to return to their safe zone.
Home alone on Christmas
Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t absolve you of responsibility as a dog owner. If you’re going to be gone for an extended period for parties or family visits, keep your dog in mind.
If they are not used to being left alone or are concerned about being ‘home alone,’ try to find a friend or family member who can remain with them – or at the very least come in to take them out and keep them company.
If your dog has separation anxiety, it may be best to have guests at your home, since the stress of being alone around the holidays can be too much for your dog, and their behavior may worsen as a result.
Don’t forget their Christmas gifts
While it may be tempting to purchase your dog a slew of Christmas presents, keep in mind that what is most important to your dog is you. You can get them treats but don’t overdo it just because it’s Christmas. Also, get them some other gifts that they’ve been wanting to ensure they are also part of the gift-sharing moment during this festive season.
Treats are the perfect holiday gift or stocking stuffer for everyone, from the active cat and devoted dog to the tiniest hamster and the chirpiest of birds.