Prepping Your Pup for Holiday Guests
- 20 December 2017
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Now that we’re in the middle of the holiday season, it seems like every day gets busier and busier. If you’re planning to host family or friends for Christmas, you’ve probably got a lot on your to-do list. As you get closer to the arrival of your guests, one very important thing to think about is how your dog is going to react.
Since having different people in your home for even a few days can be a big change for a pup, we want to share some tips that can help keep your dog relaxed and happy:
Create a Comfortable Space
Because new people are going to be in your home for an extended period, it’s important to give your dog a well-defined space all for itself. Depending on what your dog normally likes, creating this space may involve putting your pet’s crate or bed in a room where your guests aren’t going to be most of the time. Whenever you notice any signs of your dog getting stressed or overwhelming, taking your pet to this area will help your pup relax.
Be Aware of Children
Out of all the guests you can host during the holidays, kids are going to have the most energy. If your dog isn’t used to being around kids, the sudden arrival of one or more can be a big change. The most important guideline is to always be in the room when your dog and a child guest are together. With kids who aren’t used to interacting with dogs, it’s important to calmly but firmly explain what’s OK to do and what isn’t. It’s also a good idea to keep your dog away from a child when there’s any food present.
Dealing with the Front Door
Even before your guests arrive, there’s a good chance that more delivery people will come to your front door than during other times of the year. While you can train a dog to remain calm when someone knocks or rings the doorbell, that probably isn’t something you have time for in the middle of this busy season. The next best option is to stay on top of taking your dog out each morning for exercise. Burning lots of energy will help your dog get less wound-up about front door sounds.
Extra Considerations for Older Dogs
Be aware that it’s not uncommon for older dogs to get overwhelmed in even less time and they may tire more quickly than a young dog, so don’t hesitate to be proactive about taking your pet to the comfortable space you create for a little bit of quiet time.
By following these tips, you, your dog, and all of your guests will be able to enjoy a wonderful gathering under the same roof!
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