Keep Your Dog Safe and Relaxed During the Holidays

The holidays can be a fun time for everyone in your home—including your dog.

But the holiday season can also present some challenges.

With guests in the house and various holiday activities, there will be changes to your dog’s routine—which may make him stressed. There may also be more opportunities for your dog to ingest things he’s not supposed to, or run out an open door someone forgot to close.

There will be a lot going on during the holidays, so coming up with a few preventative measures to help keep your pet safe and relaxed is always a good idea:

Set Up a Playroom

With all the hustle and bustle going on in your home, your dog may be caught up in a whirlwind of unfamiliar people, scents, luggage, gift boxes, and a host of other new things. It may get overwhelming, and you may be too busy to supervise. One simple solution is setting your dog up in a low-activity room in your house as his designated area. Put his bed, crate, and some safe, entertaining toys in there. Puzzle toys where you put a treat in the toy can be useful, but make sure your dog doesn’t destroy toys before leaving him alone with any toy. Treats they can lick instead of chew are a safer bet (you can even try making a paste with The Honest Kitchen food). You can also leave a TV or radio on for some white noise if that comforts him. Place a sign on the door to the room informing guests to keep the door closed because it is your dog’s playroom. Make sure to check in on your dog regularly (consider using a baby monitor).

Designate a Pet Supervisor

If someone in your home or a guest enjoys spending time with your dog, designate him the pet supervisor. He can keep an eye on your pet and also have some fun playtime with him. Give the pet supervisor appropriate guidelines—including if your dog is allowed on the couch and where his treats are.

No Guest Treats

Let your guests know that they are not to give your dog any treats. However harmless a piece of turkey may seem, your dog’s stomach may object. Keep your dog’s treat jar handy in case a guest insists on giving your dog a treat.

Signage

When you have a large group of people in your home, signs can be an effective way to communicate with them in a party situation. One important sign to display prominently on your front door is to keep the doors closed. Guests who don’t have pets may be less consistent about closing doors, so a polite reminder can be a great help.

The Kitchen as a No-Dog Zone

Since holiday parties often revolve around the kitchen, this may be a good time to invest in a doggie gate if you don’t already have one. Busy kitchens can present many dangers for a curious dog, so it’s best to keep him out altogether.

The holidays can present some challenges for pet owners, but with a few preventative measures, everyone in the house can have a happier season.

Meet the Author: Jessica Peralta

Jessica Peralta has been a journalist for more than 15 years and an animal lover all her life. She has had dogs, cats, birds, turtles, fish, frogs, and rabbits. Her current children are a German shepherd named Guinness and a black kitten named Riot (and he lives up to that name). It’s because of her love for animals that she focused her journalistic career to the world of holistic animal care and pet nutrition. In between keeping Riot and Guinness out of mischief, she’s constantly learning about all the ways she can make them healthier and happier.

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