15 December 2015

Preparing Your Pet for the Social Season

The holidays are a busy time for visiting and having guests. That’s great if your dog is a social creature, but your pet isn’t a ‘people’ person, too many visitors can feel overwhelming. Here’s how you can prepare your pet for the stream of constant visitors this holiday season.

Set some boundaries

Your dog needs to feel secure in his home. He needs to know where his ‘territory’ ends and the visitors’ space begins. Section off a space in your home that’s off-limits to guests, but not to your dog. That way your pet will know it can go there when it needs a break. This can be an entire room, part of a room or just a dog crate. If your dog gets cranky, put him in his ‘safe place,’ and everyone will be happier.

Keep kids under control

Dogs and kids can be a dangerous mix during the holidays. If your pet is already on edge from too many visitors, adding a small child with grabbing hands can completely overwhelm him. Always make sure you supervise any children with your dog and remove your dog if he seems scared of the child or if he becomes aggressive.

Don’t encourage children to feed your dog by hand. Because they are smaller in size, dogs may view children as their equal or even inferior and they may try and take food from the child at any time in order to show their dominance.

Answering the door

If your dog gets too excited when the doorbell rings, consider leashing him until all of your holiday guests have arrived, or put him in a crate in a quiet corner. Once everyone has settled, you can introduce your dog slowly. Don’t let your dog greet guests at the door; it may confuse or alarm him, causing unnecessary stress for your dog.

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