The holidays are upon us which often means decorations, celebrations, extra deliveries, and visitors. This can be overwhelming for not just us, but the dogs too. Our dogs don’t understand what the holidays are, but they can pick up when we are stressed, which in turn can stress them out. Here are some tips to keep your pup stress free this holiday season.

1. Practice your training before you need it

We get it, life happens, and often we don’t have time to practice our training. If we don’t practice with our dogs it’s hard to expect them to remember come time when we’re all stressed out, the dog included. Take five minutes morning and afternoon to practice the commands your dog knows. Wait, place and leave it are some commands that will come in handy while receiving packages and guests.  

2. Exercise your dog before any big event

Big event planned? Be sure your dog gets lots of physical and mental stimulation before the event! No time to take your dog on a long walk? No worries! Mental stimulation is just as tiring for your dog as physical stimulation. Try stuffing a Kong, giving them a puzzle, or a long-lasting chew, like an antler or yak chew. These are all great options you can try before and during your event.  

3. Create a safe space for your dog

While we all love having our dogs be part of the holidays, sometimes the safest option is to have a safe space for your dog. This may be a crate, pen, or room. We prefer it to be away from all the action to allow your dog to decompress. If using a room, be sure to lock the door and/or put up a sign notifying your guests Fido is resting inside to help avoid someone accidentally releasing them. You can utilize this safe space at any time but make sure your dog is comfortable being in this space beforehand, a la tip #1.

4. Be sure your dog is wearing a collar with a tag

Holidays are hectic and unfortunately, it’s also the time we see the highest number of lost dogs. Guests are sometimes unsuspecting, or unaware, of a dog at the door and accidents can happen. Ensure your dog is wearing a properly fitted collar with updated tags just in case an accident were to arise. A properly fitted collar is just tight enough that you can fit two fingers on the opposite side of the buckle. This helps avoid a startled pup from backing out of its collar. If your dog is microchipped, make sure it’s up to date and registered with your information! 

We hope that these tips ease the stress this holiday season for you and your dog. Remember these steps, but most importantly, enjoy the holidays!

Next week we’ll be sharing our top tips for traveling with your dog, whether it be by plane or car.

Need help with your dog or puppy in Miami or Fort Lauderdale Florida in anticipation to your holiday parties? We can help!

Text our trainers at 786-933-4474, email training@applauseyourpaws, or engage with us on social media!

We are Miami and Fort Lauderdale’s favorite reward-based positive reinforcement dog and puppy trainers! We offer training for all breeds, all ages and all humans! 

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