If you know you’re going to be having guests over, whether for a few hours or a few weeks, plan ahead.
- If your dog is nervous around strangers in your home, set up a safe space for her to go to when she’s feeling overwhelmed. This may be a small room away from guests, or a crate with her favorite toys.
- Before guests come over take your dog on a looooong walk and have some stuffed Kongs ready to keep them busy.
- Ask your guests not to bother your dog when she’s in her safe place. For more extended visits, you can build a positive association between your shy dog and your guests. Ask guests not to directly interact with your dog; instead, they can drop treats on the ground when your dog comes around.
- If your dog has shown any aggression towards strangers, manage the situation by keeping your dog in another room any time guests come over.
Watch out for common holiday toxins.
- Grapes, raisins, chocolate–all common around the holidays and all are toxic to dogs.
- Coffee, alcohol, and nicotine are all potentially hazardous to your dog. If you have a guest that’s an avid smoker or drinker, make sure you plan ahead to make sure your dog stays out of reach of these harmful items.
- You might be tempted to toss your dog table scraps from a delicious holiday meal, but keep in mind that rich, fatty foods can severely harm your dog’s digestive system.
Be wary of holiday hazards.
- Avoid tinsel… this can be injested and cut like glass internally.
- Make sure your Christmas tree is securely anchored to the ground, and minimize your dog’s temptation to jump on the tree by avoiding edible ornaments like popcorn strings.
- Clean up pine needles frequently and don’t allow your pet to drink water from the tree stand.
- If you’re celebrating Hanukkah, make sure to keep your menorah or other candles out of reach of your pets.
Tips For A Stress-Free Holiday