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It’s no secret that the holiday season is an extremely busy time for many homes in terms of family visits, deliveries, smells form the kitchen, and other forms of happiness. One of those who can be affected by the changes the most is the family dog. While one may embrace the changes, another may not be so welcoming and may start exhibiting all kinds of unusual behaviors. This means you will need to assert yourself as the dominant one and show them that no matter how different things may be right now, you will always keep them secure and safe.

Here are ways that you can prepare your dog for all of the visitors and stress that the holiday season can bring.

Children
If dogs don’t live in a home with children, chances are they may not be very comfortable whenever children come to visit. Children always raise the overall energy level wherever they go, which can create a great deal of worry and stress in a dog. Always try to supervise children as much as possible, especially whenever they are along together with a dog, because this is when a lot of dog bites tend to take place. Additionally, teach the child to always treat the dog with respect, and never allow them to feed the dog by hand because this will let the dog know that it’s OK to take any food from a child at any time.

Boundaries/Security
Dogs always enjoy having their own home to live in because it allows them to feel calm and secure. If they’re missing this, do your best to create one for them. This could include a pet carrier or crate that contains a blanket or pillow that they can lay down on. This will allow them to feel secure whenever they are away from you. Furthermore, if your dog starts to bark or nip at any visitors, simply remove them from the situation and put them in their safe place. It’s also important to keep your dog out of any spaces that will allow them to get underfoot, and always bring their carrier or crate if you plan to go on vacation during the holiday season.

Older Dogs
Older dogs generally won’t enjoy all of the extra excitement during the holiday season. This means that if they begin to get cranky around any of your visitors, all you need to do is take them to a quiet area where you know they won’t be bothered. It’s also important to remind any and all children to be respectful around your older dog as well.

Behaviors Around the Front Door
Any kind of knock at the front door can cause a dog to get excited occasionally, and they will want to know who has arrived at their home. However, this is something that can also be unsafe as well, as this can cause them to run out the door and into harm’s way or even knock people over. One way you can help your dog to become more calm is to exercise them before any guests arrive, generally around 30 minutes prior to any arrivals. Furthermore, never allow your dog to greet any unfamiliar guests, as this can cause extra added stress for them. You could also consider putting your dog on a leash, as well as teaching them how to both sit and stay on command. If the dog happens to get too overly excited with visitors that arrive, take them to another area and let them join everyone else later on.