The Holidays and Your Dog
We hope that you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. The holiday season tends to add a little more commotion to our lives than usual, and maintaining a sense of calm may take more effort. While we take our occasional moments to find our peace, let’s not forget our pups. The last few months and going into the next may have been exciting, but sometimes for your dogs, it’s a disruption that’s unnerving to them.
We’d like to share some tips on how to keep your dog comfortable during the holidays. But first, let’s take a look at some signs that your pet may be in distress.
- Yawning or drooling – while these are both typical actions for humans and pets alike in certain circumstances, there is a difference if these are stress-induced. For instance, a stress yawn from a dog is more prolonged and intense than just an average sleepy yawn.
- Whining or excessive barking
- Shedding more than usual- when your dog feels anxious, there is an increase in their shedding.
- Change in posture – On the norm, dogs bear weight evenly on all fours. If you notice them putting more weight on their back legs, this could be a sign of stress.
- Change in bodily functions – As with people, dogs may feel the sudden urge to go to the bathroom when feeling anxious.
Now that we have identified the signs, here are some ways to help reduce some of the stress if you notice that your fur baby is feeling uneasy:
- Find a quiet place for your pup to regroup. (avoid over comforting them)
- Treats or petting – if you use this method, encourage your dog to earn the treat, like having them sit. This action(sitting) in itself helps them relax.
- Regular exercise – a jog in the park or a game of fetch helps reduce tension.
If your dog is increasingly stressed even beyond the abnormal holiday excitement, it may be a good idea to schedule an appointment with your vet. Remember, it is normal for animals to feel anxious when their environment or regular routine changes. Find the things that bring your dog the most comfort and implement those things just a little more until the holiday buzz dies down.