- Reducing Your Dogs Holiday Fears
So what can you do at home to help our nervous pups stay calmer and prevent our naughty pups from getting into something they shouldn't? Here are a few of my top holiday tips. -DO create a safe place for your dog! A safe place could be a crate or a quiet room that no one else will enter. Your dog should enjoy going to their safe place and find it easy to rest there. Our dogs need a place to decompress from all their daily choices and need more time to do so when life is hectic. Note: your dog's safe place should be away from all of the company's hustle and bustle.
Note: Dogs do not usually get table scraps and will have a more challenging time digesting them. Getting too many table scraps or food high in fat like ham can cause diseases like pancreatitis in our dogs. Pancreatitis is very painful and requires medical intervention. -DO place a barrier around the Christmas tree to keep curious pets out of trouble. -DO use calming music or a white noise machine to help mask the sounds of things like fireworks or a crowd of people. -DO search canine body language and watch a few videos. Even dogs that love to be part of the action can become overwhelmed. We want to ensure they enjoy the holidays, so knowing when to remove them from the excitement is essential. Canine body language can be very subtle. It's critical to learn the first signs of stress! Here are two charts you can follow to know if your dog is becoming overwhelmed!
-DO show children how to approach your dog's safely and how to pet from shoulder to back.
-DO provide plenty of calming enrichment to help keep your dog stress bucket from overflowing. A frozen lick mat or frozen stuffed Kong in a quiet place can do a lot for a fearful dog or a dog that is starting to become overwhelmed. Licking and chewing are naturally calming for our dogs and help them lower their stress levels.
-DON'T take your dog's outside for walks during fireworks. This is a recipe for disaster. Dogs can get loose during the panic of fireworks and become disoriented and run away from you even when they have a good recall.
Harmonious Handling Dog Training
CPDT-KA, Certified Pro Dog Trainer, Certified Fear Free Trainer.