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How to Keep your Dog Calm and Comfortable During the Hectic Holiday Season

KONG Holiday Crackle Stick

The holidays are upon us, bringing with them the familiar celebrations and gatherings with loved ones. No matter what holiday your family celebrates, there’s plenty of fun and joy to go around. And with all the treats, food, and guests, there’s a good chance your dog is just as excited as you for the celebrations.

However, all this activity can be a lot for your dog. They can go through a whole range of emotions during the holidays: everything from excitement to anxiety. Partner KONG toys with the following tips to help your dog overcome the stress of this hectic time of year. Not to mention, playtime with your dog can be a great way to relieve any of your own stress while hosting friends and family this holiday season!

Tips for Enjoying the Holidays with Dogs

With so many new faces and scents filling up the house, it’s easy for your dog to be overwhelmed. All the stimulation can lead to them getting overexcited, which is fine until they’re jumping on grandma or barking at the baby cousin. This holiday doesn’t have to be a day of anxiousness for your furry friend. In fact, with the right preparations, you can help your dog be more relaxed and enjoy the extra company.

Refresh Basic Dog Manners

Start by reinforcing your pup’s manners and good behaviors before the party. They don’t have to be perfect but going over their obedience training is especially helpful before the holidays. Be sure to reward their good behavior with special treats like a KONG Classic stuffed with delicious holiday flavors. If your dog is prone to anxiety when there are house guests, your KONG Club coaching team is here to help. They work with you to create a plan specific for your dog to distract and engage your pet while you entertain.

A Bored Dog is an Anxious Dog

During the holidays, you might not be able to spend as much time as you usually do with your pup, which can leave them bored and anxious. While you serve dinner and catch up with friends, your dog will still need attention and playtime. It doesn’t matter what season it is; dogs need to play! This is where KONG can come into play. KONG toys helps your dog stimulate both their teeth and their minds. Some of the toys included even teach your dog new skills and tricks. This will keep your dog entertained while you entertain guests. Include your pup in the holiday entertainment by showing off new skills and tricks to guests. It’s a win-win.

Tire Your Dog Out

Another way to manage your dog’s stress levels is to let them release their energy before your guests arrive. A brisk walk, run, or a rousing game of fetch can make a big difference. Letting them get out all that energy before the party can prevent them from being overly excited when the doorbell rings. As all your guests arrive, your dog will be too tired to stress out about it. For those dogs with boundless energy, be sure to recruit friends and family members for puppy playtime throughout the day’s festivities. Your pet won’t be able to keep its eyes open before long! 

Set Up a Pet-Friendly Room

Younger and more excitable dogs may still have trouble holding back their excitement or anxieties once the holiday party starts. From begging for food during dinner to getting a case of the ‘zoomies’ as you unwrap presents, your dog is dying to be a part of the action. However, as much as we love them, an overly stimulated dog can make things difficult.

A great way to help your curious canine is to create a separate space where they can be comfortable. A room with a large dog bed and access to water, toys, and an assortment of treats can help your dog relax. You can use crate training techniques to ensure they feel at ease, and the KONG toys make them feel comfy. KONG toys and treats are designed to create positive associations with their crate. Providing a room for them creates a space where they can feel secure during the holidays. You can also include a separator or close the door to keep your dog safe from the frenetic energy of the party. The separate room creates a sense of security, making it a space where they can escape to when they’re overwhelmed or stressed out. Avoid ‘trapping’ your dog in a separate space though, if possible. This can lead to additional anxiety and potentially encourage destructive behavior. 

Give the Gift of Play

The holiday season is a time to give to the ones you love. So, of course, the dogs in your life deserve the best gifts for the joy they bring all year long.  A KONG Club subscription gives access to 24/7 vet expert support and is theperfect gift for the dog lover in your life. KONG Club is sure to keep help pet parents stay happy this holiday season and throughout the entire year!