Dogs and Holiday Guests
Dogs and holiday guests are not always an ideal mix. Many dogs are territorial by nature and they don’t enjoy having company invade the home. Other canines love people and welcome anyone into the home Sometimes it’s hard to determine your pooch’s stance on visitors until the guests arrive. In this article, we will explore a few ways to ensure that your dog and holiday guests can co-exist in harmony.
Prepare Your Dog and House for Holiday Guests
Pick a predetermined area of the home where your dog feels comfortable before company arrives. Some dogs are comfortable spending time in their crate or a bedroom. You can also utilize a pet gate to section off an area of the home where your pooch can still see what is going on without leaving the animal’s safe zone. You can also invest in a canine playpen where your furry friend can spend time when visitors arrive.
If your dog has never met a visitor then take the time to make introductions. Let your furry buddy know that your guest is a friend and should be welcomed into the home. Dogs watch their owners closely for clues about visitors to determine if they are friend or foe. Presenting a guest in a positive way will go a long ways towards reassuring your dog and keeping the peace in the house.
Use a Pet Sitter or Dog Walker
Why not employ a pet sitter or dog walker to take your pooch to the dog park or for a walk while you entertain your guests? Mental enrichment distracts your dog? This is especially true if they are used to their dog walker or pet sitter so they will naturally welcome the outdoor adventure.
Also, exercise stimulates your dog’s serotonin production which is the ‘feel-good hormone’ that naturally puts FIDO in a good mood and makes him more receptive to strangers visiting the home
Turn on the Tunes
In the book, ‘The Mourning Bride’, the author William Congreve refers to the ability of music to calm the savage beast. Music appears to calm dogs and soothe them. If your house is hustling and bustling with holiday company then play some soft music and your pooch will probably start to relax. Remember, your dog has exceptional hearing, so the volume does not need to be very loud to gain results. Keep it soft to effectively battle anxiety.
Make Sure the Guests Know the Rules
It’s nice to have people visit but always remember that they are just visitors and your dog lives in your home. You will need to outline a few rules for your visitors such as not feeding your pooch any leftovers which can quickly lead to an upset stomach. Also, make sure that everyone knows the importance of closing the doors, so your pooch doesn’t sneak outside unattended. If you are keeping Fido behind a gate or in a crate, then let everyone in the house know not to let the dog out without first consulting with you.
Yes, dogs and holiday guests can cause stress but if you handle things well there can also be harmony. Your canine is a member of your family and should also enjoy the occasion.