Giving your Dog a Stress Free Christmas

merry_christmas_fidoChristmas is fast approaching and will be here before we know it. Soon our homes will be adorned with the most elaborate and beautiful Christmas decorations and children everywhere will be on their best behaviour in anticipation of Santa’s annual visit. Although Christmas is a magical time of year, it can also be a very stressful one.

There is a certain degree of stress that always comes with friends and loved ones coming to visit. Depending on their degree of travel you may have to provide sleeping arrangements for extra guests and there is always the issue of ensuring that there is enough food for everyone. As much stress as is involved with planning holiday events, it can be equally stressful for our dogs.

For most of the year our dogs are at the top of the list for pampering and attention, but around the Christmas season we can often forget about them in favour of appeasing relatives or finding that perfect gift for the one we love. This time of the year we need to make an extra effort to be supportive to our dog, so our stress does not become theirs. Here are some ways in which you can alleviate the Holiday stresses from your dog.

Make Space

When planning for family and friends to be over it is important that we keep in mind that our home is our dog’s home and he or she needs a special place to be. Most dogs have a place in which to rest however with the addition of holiday decorations and extra people within the home the dog’s area can get moved around or even done away with entirely. Make sure that your dog’s resting place stays in a quiet location out of the way from the other guests.

Inform Guests

New people staying at your home can be different for everyone. It is important to understand that as much as you love your dog there are some people that will not be so affectionate to him or her. You should always inform guests that there is a dog in your home. Most guests will be fine with the dog being there, but some may take issue. For these people that have a problem with the dog you may need to find alternative sleeping arrangements for them. As has been stated before, the home belongs to your dog as well as yourself and you would never lock your child in a room simply because a guest did not like children. Show your dog the same courtesy.

Be Careful with Decorations

We love Christmas decorations all over the home and rightfully so because they are beautiful, but a certain amount of caution has to be maintained when decorating if you have a dog. Change of any kind within a home can be stressful to a dog anyway, so when decorating try to keep it to a minimum until you know how your dog will react. This precaution is mostly for puppies as they can be like children and become over stimulated. An overly stimulated puppy can ruin decorations without even meaning to do so.

There is no harm in decorating, just be careful not to overdo it. When decorating also keep in mind that dogs like to jump and grab things, so keep any decorations out of the dogs reach. It may not seem like this would only be stressful to you, but dogs can feel when we are upset, so if they destroy decorations there is no way to hide the disappointment we would feel and that would just cause the dog to be stressed out from disappointing their beloved owner.

Keep the Noise Down

It is perfectly acceptable to have a fun Christmas party and have a lot of fun, but should the noise get out of hand it could bring on stress to our dog. Allow your guests to have fun, but keep a check on the dog to ensure that he or she is not hiding from the noise. Dog’s ears are far more sensitive that humans and too much noise can be highly stressful for them. Most of the time simple holiday music is fine, but ensure that your guests do not bring over any loud Christmas gifts or any entertainment options that may be excessively loud.

The Christmas season is a spectacular time of year where families and friends come together. It should be a wonderful time of year for all, but unfortunately many people get caught up in the holiday traditions that they can unknowingly allow their dog to become stressed out with all of the festivities. To ensure that that problem does not occur keep track of your dog throughout any Christmas events and make sure that stress is not getting to them.