How To Calm Your Dog This Holiday
There are a few tried, tested and true tricks to calm your dog over the holidays.
Let’s face it: Christmas can be stressful for us humans, let alone our dogs. Endless visitors, celebrations, car journeys and a change to the ‘normal’ routine can cause a lot more stress to our furry friends than we tend to realise.
So how would you know if your dog was stressed or anxious? Well, there are a few obvious signs to look out for, however these will change from dog to dog so it’s important to pay attention to any change in your dog’s behaviour (no matter how small it may seem).
- Nervous appearance – The most obvious way to notice a stress pet is through their appearance. Your dog may have its ears pinned back, the whites will be visible in its eyes and it may be shedding more than normal.
- Barking – Although most dogs bark at some point, excessive barking, whether inside or outside the house, can be a sign of anxiety and stress.
- Avoidance – When stressed, dogs may show avoidance, whether it’s other dogs or people. Tail tucked, avoiding eye contact, and taking themselves off away from people are all ways your dog shows you it is uncomfortable.
- Accidents – You may think your dog is fully house trained, and they probably are, however when stressed your dog may have some accidents. If you think back to when your dog was a puppy, they would have accidents when scared or excited, this is the same for stressed dogs.
- Chewing and destructive behaviours – Chewing or scratching furniture is linked to stress in pets.
- Sweating – Dogs don’t sweat, instead they pant and sweat through their pads. When nervous, like humans, dogs will sweat more.
Other signs can include…
- Excessive cleaning itself can be a sure sign your dog is stressed
- Lip and nose licking
- Stress yawn
- Change is eating habits
It can be hard to make your pet feel relaxed if you can’t tell what is causing their stress (if only they could speak, hey?) but there are some things you can do as pet owners help calm your dog.
- Give them space. It may be hard as when we see our pet upset or stressed we instantly want to cuddle them and show them love however this can actually make them more stressed. If your pet has chosen to find a quiet spot or shows signs of avoidance, allow it to have its space away from whatever it is finding stressful.
If you are having visitors, make sure you have a place your dog can escape to with its bed and some water.
- Routine. Dogs like to know where they stand and by keeping to a routine where possible, will really help keep your dog happy. This applies to the time your dog eats to the times of their walks. However, that being said, keep walks and playtime fun for your dog!
- Prevent stressful situation. It may sound obvious, but if you know your dog doesn’t like something, don’t do it. Crowded area for example, if you know your dog finds these worrying, leave your dog at home or go somewhere else
- Exercise your dog regularly. Physical activity like playing or going for a walk to the park is a great stress reducer for dogs, and it’s also good for us owners!
- Calming products. Natural calming and de-stress products such as Pet Remedy is a proven formula to help reduce stress in all mammals and birds. The diffuser can be used within the home and the sprays can be taken with you on the
go. Its neutral pH balance means it is safe to spray on your pets bedding and even your dog’s skin to calm your dog.