The Holidays – Managing Stress

Please help your dog get through the holidays by managing his stress!

The holidays are a busy time for many households. Friends and family come and go, deliveries are made to the door, and delicious smells emanate from the kitchen. Among those affected by these changes is the family dog.

While one dog may revel in the change of pace, others may find it a confusing, stressful time. Your normally placid dog may suddenly begin to exhibit unusual behaviors, such as stealing food, jumping up on people, or growling or snapping at visitors. You need to communicate and demonstrate to your dog that while his world may be different, you will continue to keep him safe and secure.

  • Always supervise kids and dogs when they are alone together. This is when most dog bites to children occur. Never invite a child to feed the dog by hand—this teaches the dog it is acceptable to take any food from a child.
  • Dogs need to have their own “home,” a place where they feel secure and calm. A crate or pet carrier provides a natural safe haven for your dog. Keep his crate or dog pillow in a quiet area of the home, and direct your dog there when you need to set boundaries. While he may not like being separated from you, he will still feel secure. If your dog begins to bark or nip at visitors, remove him from the area and keep him in his safe place until your guests have gone.
  • A knock on the door can be a stimulating event for a dog, whether he sees it as fun or alarming. To help your dog be calmer, exercise him prior to the arrival of guests. After 30 minutes of walking or playing, your dog will more likely be relaxed or want to nap.

By anticipating how your dog may react to new activities and visitors, you can help ensure that everyone—both two- and four-legged—has a fun and safe holiday season.

For more information, please contact Bruce and Robin Edwards at 954-424-0170 or