Are you fearful your canine companion will go through a sensory overload during the holiday season? It’s true that your furry friend may need a little tactful distraction or focused practice to avoid experiencing holiday-induced anxiety. For the most unruffled pups, new sights, faces, smells, and noises can overstimulate. Stop the holiday madness beforehand by taking some precursor precautions to keep your pet from indulging in too much holiday cheer! Here’s how:
Introduce your dog to a whole new world early on. Don’t be afraid to let them see new sights. Take them on adventures to dog parks, people parks, and to other areas that might have noisy distractions and unfamiliar smells. This way your curious compadre can learn to adapt and adjust more quickly to unexpected changes. Unique adventures can help to prepare them for anything!
If it’s a chilly winter season and you are struggling to come up with indoor activities to help your dog acclimate to the looming festivities, try the Internet. Fireworks blasting, crashing noises, strange voices played via your phone or computer can help tune your distracted dog into the interruptions that are so synonymous with holiday cheer. As your precocious pup gets used to the different noises, gradually up the intensity or sound over days, weeks or months to account for the unexpected.
When the volume around you goes up as a result of holiday fun, up the tempo and your one-on-one attention with your playful pet. Their favorite game coupled with time spent with their favorite person is one way your dog can see the benefits of the holidays. Your gift to them will be quality time while the festivities abound!
A hectic schedule and a surplus of activities from decorating to socializing with friends and family may have you begging for “me-time.” Everyone needs a little get-away from the busyness. Your dynamic dog is no different. A safe place with your pup’s favorite snuggle toy or blanket and some kind of white noise to keep out unfamiliar sounds can help your fur baby find a bit of R & R.
Remember dogs often react out of fear and anxiety, and it's not always that their behavior is the issue. They just need a little loving reassurance and thoughtful accommodation to help their holidays become one joyful occasion!