Having a houseful of people can be fun (and for some, a great stress). The same is true for our fur-babies. While you may enjoy having more time at home and with your family, this can bring “chaos” to your home which can be a stressful time for your dog.
A houseful of people can lead to anxiety and even “bad” behaviors from your normally well-behaved dog (and cat). We have tips on how to entertain and relieve your dog’s stress during these times. These tips are ideal for any family gathering no matter what the situation or when it happens throughout the year.
Understand that your dog isn’t being bad. He or she is nervous and if the family routine has been upended, you may find your dog is making messes in the house, jumping on your guests, barking, chewing inappropriate items, pacing, not eating and a host of other behaviors related to being stressed out and anxious.
When you look at a holiday gathering for example, from your dog’s point of view you notice that for a tiny dog, all he sees is ankles and feet. He runs the risk of getting stepped on or tripped over. A big dog who may not seem rambunctious when it’s just your family at home, may find herself running into tables or furniture that has been moved to accommodate guests. She may even inadvertently bump into a small child and that could lead to the child crying or falling down and someone yelling at your pup.
Protect your pup, give your dog breathing room, and don’t put them in a position in where they may cause injury or be injured.
- Give your dog an escape route. If your dog loves to be in their crate, make sure it is in a location they can get into it and get away from everyone and everything. Make sure everyone understand that when your dog is in their crate, they needs to and wants to, be left alone. Get your dog accustomed to their crate being in a different, more secluded location. Don’t introduce another stressor into their already stressed out self.
- Put your dog in a separate room — whether in a crate or not — and turn on DOGTV. The soothing sights and sounds of DOGTV will calm an anxious dog and distract them from the noises of everyone in the house. You can get your first month FREE with our PetHub Perk!
- Take your dog for a walk. Get your dog out of the house, and preferably on a walk alone with you. The exercise will help calm their nerves. A tired dog is a good dog. A walk with just the two of you — or other family members with whom thier comfortable, will go a long way in helping alleviate anxiety and helping soothe their frazzled nerves. Also, spending time alone with your pup in the midst of chaos and uncertainty is a great way to bond.
- Give your dog a new toy or treat. Distract your dog by giving them a new toy or treat. If they usually only gets food puzzles or other toys that make them work for treats, treat them to a simple bully stick or bone so they have a calming way to enjoy themselves. Make sure no one tries to take the toy or treat away so that the pup can be comfortable and calm.
- Ask your vet. Ask your veterinarian for advice on helping keep your pet relaxed during such new times.
Other ways to keep your fur baby safe include:
- Keeping them away from open doors so they can’t escape.
- Keep their collar on at all times in case they do escape. And make sure you have an external ID tag on your pets, like the digital ID tags from PetHub, to help make sure they get home as fast as possible.
- Pay attention to your dog’s body language and remove them if you notice they are panting, trying to get away, hiding, growling or their ears are flattened back. It is your responsibility to keep your dog out of situations in which he could injure someone simply because they're nervous. Learn more about how you can read your pet’s body language.
- Put your dog’s crate, toys and food and water dishes out of the way of foot traffic.
- Find time during the day to sit and reassure your pup. They will appreciate some quiet time (or a walk) alone with you.
Find the original article HERE.
written by Robbi Hess/DogTV