Helping Pets Feel Safe During the Holidays

by Melissa R. on November 27, 2013

The holidays are just around the corner – dinners, parties, guests, presents, lights and much more. Does your pet have any problems during these busy times? What do you do to help them through it?

This will be my pup’s first “real” Thanksgiving & Christmas. She was just a few weeks old last year, so was safely tucked away with her brothers and sisters, still learning the ropes of life. But now she is a year old, and we are venturing into new territory.

Some of the issues I am dealing with:

Houseguests: My pup can be a bit overzealous in her greetings, as well as developed some nerves with strangers in her home. So we will be extra cautious to have guests dispense treats, work on calm greetings, and be sure to keep our puppy good and busy so she can relax in her crate and be safely away if she gets overwhelmed. Once again, crate-training to the rescue!

Holiday parties: I work 8-5+, so then having to go to a holiday dinner or party is a concern for me because my pup needs attention. Whenever possible I make sure to sign her up for doggy day care during those times, or have a friend come over to walk or play with her.

The Christmas Tree: now this, I am just not sure what I am going to do. I will probably set up a fake tree, and limit the amount of ornaments within nose/tail reach. We will likely have to do some training about Christmas trees, so as not to have a leaping, wild & crazy pup deciding the tree looks like a good playmate!

Presents: Well, obviously, we are just not going to be able to leave presents laying around the house (or under the tree) if our pup is on the loose. We can train of course, but I think we are simply going to be safer (and saner) if we put them out of the way. Especially important when it comes to gifts of food or candy! We do not want any pets getting into something that could harm them.

I think most important is that we try to keep up as much structure as possible, and if things feel overwhelming, to simply put her in her crate with a good frozen stuffed Kong toy, where she can knaw away at it and be content – and allow me to relax and not worry!

Any stories to share? Here’s a helpful article to read as well, with tips on how to keep your pet calm during the holidays.

About the author: Melissa is a devoted pet owner with several cats: Kai, Cirrhi & Ritter; and the newest addition, Emme a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Melissa is an avid dog agility enthusiast, and hopes her new pup will someday be an agility champion! She is a Graphic Designer and Project Coordinator for the and websites. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Michigan State University and is a lifelong pet lover and owner. See more articles by Melissa R.

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