When it comes to family gatherings during the holidays, there’s always one family member that many people forget about during holiday family gatherings: the family dog. Knowing how to keep your dog calm while all the sights and smells of the holidays (not to mention new people) are in your home is important. Here’s how you can keep your dog calm.
Keeping Your Dog Calm and Healthy This Holiday
There is so much going on during the holidays we tend to forget the little things, and one of these is our little furry friends. You’ve got a lot going on with gift buying, food preparation and everything else that goes on with the holidays. So with the hustle and bustle of the season, many dogs and cats get overly excited when friends and family gather. This not only can annoy your visitors, it also can be harmful to your pet.
You shouldn’t have to keep your dog crated or locked outside or in a spare room to avoid them jumping on guests or stealing food. Or getting underfoot. These tips will help your dog stay calm enough to not miss out on the holiday fun:
- Firstly, notify your guests about coming to your home and that you’d like to train your dog not to jump, bark or get frisky when someone comes over. This is an excellent time to have your friends and family help you train your dog. So explain it as such.
- Walk your dog before the festivities start at your home. Give them an extra long workout, which, according to the American Humane Association, helps tire your pet out before the party starts.
- Welcome your guests and introduce them to your dog if they’ve never met. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals suggests asking your guests to calmly greet your pet. Have them calmly greet your dog. If they’re excited when greeting your dog will do the same.
- If your dog is off the walls bonkers when people come over, ask your vet about a calming spray supplement. A product like Pluto Pet’s Pet Calming Spray, can help your pet relieve hyperactivity. After two to four squirts in your pet’s mouth, Pet Calming Spray acts quickly to relieve restlessness, fear, nervousness and aggression and helps antsy pets sleep throughout the night.
- Smoke and Mirrors. Or, simple distraction using their favorite toy. To distract your pet from jumping up on guests or getting into things, the Humane Society recommends using toys as a distraction. For dogs, toys with hiding places for treats are suggested. Catnip toys will keep cats busy.
- Bring your dog to doggy daycare for the first half of the day. This will probably tire them out and keep them more relaxed when meeting new people in your home.
- Reward good behavior a few times during the event. The American Humane Association suggests keeping treats handy. Encourage your guests to refrain from feeding your pet “people food.” Using it as a treat can lead to your pet begging for more at your guests’ feet.
A Calm Dog During the Holidays is a Welcome Pet
If all else fails and your dog won’t settle down, you can always bring them to Dog Day Getaway for the day. They’ll have plenty of friends to play with and you won’t worry about them getting underfoot or into things.
Consider the visitors to your home who may not be knowledgeable about dogs, or your dog in particular. Having your dog calm and able to mingle freely with your guests will surely have a positive impact on your guests and how they see your pet. This will certainly be memorable when it comes time to invite you and your dog over for a get-together. Knowing that your dog is well mannered will definitely be a deciding factor when invited.