Santa Dog

The typical home can become quite a hectic place during the holidays. Your wrapping, decorating, baking and entertaining often results in a beehive of activity – and don’t think your dog doesn’t notice! Unfortunately, all the commotion can be unsettling to your pet, causing him to behave in ways that aren’t exactly household-friendly.

We decided to explore some of the more common canine behavioral issues and provide useful tips that can help keep you and your dog out of trouble this holiday season.

Excessive Chewing

With everything that goes on during the holidays, you might end up paying less attention to your dog than he’d like. Any disruption in his normal routine could make him bored or nervous, which can lead to excessive chewing.

Buying him some new chew toys can divert his interest – and his teeth – from that new pair of expensive shoes you were about to wrap. This might also be a good time to give him a little extra chewing prevention training. Crate training can also alleviate your dog’s anxiety by providing him with a peaceful place to escape the excitement.

Tree and Plant Issues

Your holiday tree will likely pique your dog’s interest. However, wagging tails from curious canines can knock off ornaments or even make smaller trees fall over. Eating tinsel or tree goodies, such as candy canes or gingerbread men, could also make him sick.

The simple act of placing a collapsible pet playpen around the tree can allow your dog and tree to coexist peacefully – and safely. If you place poinsettias and other plants inside your home, also make sure to keep them out of your dog’s reach.

Dogs in front of Christmas Tree

Poor People Skills

If you’re planning to entertain a houseful of guests, you’ll want your dog to be on his best behavior. Giving him a refresher course on basic obedience commands, such as sitting, coming and staying, can ensure he minds his manners during the festivities.

Keep some treats on hand and reward him whenever he exhibits good behavior. If a ringing doorbell makes your dog excitable, keep him in a separate room or outside until everyone has arrived. If the excitement is just too much for your dog, he might have to spend the evening alone in a quieter part of your home with a few of his favorite toys to keep him company.

Taking Cues From Your Behavior

Do you or other family members get overly stressed, excitable or irritable during the holidays? This could go a long way toward explaining your dog’s erratic behavior. Dogs are sensitive creatures and they can easily pick up on any changes in your moods or actions.

Focus on relaxing and enjoying the season instead of fretting over every little detail. Keeping calm will help keep your dog’s behavior in check. And no matter how busy you are during this time of year, be sure to make some time each day to give him some attention and love.

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