The holidays are a busy time of year at most households. It can also be a bit stressful for both you and your dog. Usual routines get interrupted by more frequent comings and goings with holiday shopping, parties and festivities. Cold, snowy days and shorter daylight hours might interrupt your usual walk routines and suddenly there is a big tree in the house that your dog isn’t supposed to touch.
As you are planning your family’s holiday activities, be aware that your dog might be feeling a little left out or stressed. If you can, take time to do something special with your dog, even if it’s just making time to snuggle and give extra belly rubs.
If you are simply too busy to slow down with a full-time job, shopping, wrapping gifts, school concerts and so on, consider taking your dog to daycare. Doggie daycare is perfect for days when you are running around like crazy and your dog is feeling neglected. Signs of your dog’s stress might manifest and him acting a bit sad and gloomy, excessive chewing or destroying things when he’s never exhibited that behavior before, excessive barking or trying to get your attention or clinging super tight to you staying as close as he can as you move from one room to the next.
Be sure to also let your dog know how much you love him. Nothing shows your love more than time spent together, so when time allows you to be focused on your special pooch, do something you will both cherish. Take a walk together to see the lights in your neighborhood, book a training class together that is essentially scheduled together time of working to understand each other, do some FitPAWS sessions together.
Each year together is a blessing and time is a fleeting thing. We all get busy during this time of year that is about celebrating life, love and family. Light a candle, take a breath and take in all that you love.
From my heart to yours, may you and all creatures great and small, have a joyous holiday season.