The holiday season is a busy time, especially with parties and gatherings. During this time of year, dogs can end up having behavioral issues from all the excitement and irregular schedules. Find out how to help your dog stay calm this holiday season.
Holiday Challenges for Dogs
A few different things can make the holiday season harder for dogs, depending on their temperament. Some dogs become overly excited from having friends and family over, while others get nervous when you have company over that they’re not familiar with. Other dogs act up when their owners aren’t around as much due to holiday errands or gatherings. Whether dogs get nervous or excited, it’s important to find ways to keep them calm. Otherwise, they can cause problems in your home, such as chewing on household items, eliminating indoors or barking and jumping at guests. There are several ways to help your dog remain calm, no matter how hectic the holiday season is for you.
Before the holiday season starts, work on obedience training with your dog. Commands such as “stay” or “sit” can help your dog stay calm when people come over, including strangers. You can also work on stopping your dog from jumping on guests to greet them. To do this, turn away when your dog jumps on you. Don’t give any attention until the jumping stops and your dog is being calm. Dogs jump to get attention, so giving it to them is rewarding them for this behavior.
If your dog acts up out of boredom from you being gone more often than usual, have chew toys or puzzle toys available as a distraction. Give one of these toys to your dog before you leave the house. Chewing helps dogs work out frustration, while puzzle toys keep their minds occupied. This should help prevent dogs from destroying things around the home or exhibiting other behavioral problems, such as excessive barking or eliminating.
Consider Boarding or Daycare
If you can’t be around much to keep your dog company or if your dog needs help with behavioral problems, consider dog boarding or dog daycare. Dog boarding or daycare gives your dog a chance to burn off energy with other dogs, which helps ease excitement. You can also sign your dog up for obedience training while boarding or attending daycare.