Blog Top 5 Reasons Why Your Dog May Get Stressed During the Holidays
The holiday season can be stressful for many people. The same goes for your four-legged family members. There are many reasons your dog gets stressed over the holidays. We have gathered a few of the main culprits below, along with tips for pet parents dealing with holiday stress.
1. A Busy Household
Your dog can see that there’s something new with your daily routine. There is more cooking and cleaning, and you may be going out more than usual. All these changes can translate to holiday stress in dogs. Your busy schedule during the holidays may mean that they get their dinner a little bit later or that they must put up with more strangers coming through the house.
Give your pets plenty of positive reinforcement when they handle new situations well. You can also help them work off any excess energy through easy exercise like walks, games or a day of daycare.
2. Less Stimulation May Mean More Energy
With the house getting busier around the holidays, it can be easy to forget that your pet needs attention, too. With an overbooked schedule and nasty weather, it is easy to forget your routine walking schedule. Dogs that are used to getting regular exercise may turn to chewing on furniture or wrapped presents.
Stick to your routine as best as you can and play with your pet at least once a day. A quick walk around the block can also help eliminate boredom.
3. New Rules
When you have guests over, you may suddenly care that your dog hops on the furniture or actively begs while you are eating dinner. Your pet doesn’t know the difference between your cousins coming over and people who see the everyday habits you have.
Try to keep it easy on your dog and be consistent with him or her through the holidays. Reward your dog with treats when they behave properly. This can reduce holiday stress in dogs.
Many dogs do not like to travel, and it can be another of the reasons your dog gets stressed. When they see you pack the first bag, they know a car ride is in their future. Whether they get carsick, feel anxious in the car, or simply haven’t done it before, travel can bring its own degree of stress.
Don’t force your dog to travel if he or she can’t take it well. You have options such as dog boarding in West Palm Beach available. You can travel at ease with the knowledge your pet is being cared for by a professional.
Dogs have particularly sensitive noses. This means that the onslaught of holiday smells may be upsetting to them. To help minimize this, be sure to use pet-friendly cleaning supplies. You can also limit your use of candles, potpourri, and other items with strong odors. Allow your pet plenty of fresh air when possible.
How to Know Your Dog Is Stressed
Signs of holiday stress in dogs include panting excessively, pacing around the house, and looking anxious. Wide eyes with the whites showing more than normal also indicate your pet is very stressed. These signs need immediate attention, such as time alone in a quiet room.
One of the best things you can do to help minimize your pet’s stress over the holidays is to stick with their routine as much as possible. The best tip for pet parents dealing with holiday stress in dogs is to not overwhelm your dog with new stuff once the holiday season rolls around.