It’s a well-known fact that the holidays can cause a lot of stress for humans. But what about your furry friends? Have you noticed that your pets sometimes become more stressed around the holidays, too?
There are a couple reasons for this—firstly, dogs can definitely sense a change in their owners’ emotions, and when they know you’re stressed, they may feel anxious as well. Secondly, when owners are busy, they have less time for playing with their pets, taking them for walks, and promoting a relaxed, calm lifestyle.
Check out 5 ways to keep your dog stress-free this holiday season—and who knows, you might find yourself becoming more relaxed, too!
1. Treat Your Dog to Extra Walks
Like humans, dogs release negative energy when they exercise. Taking a walk or going for a run enhances cardiovascular health and improves mood for pups as well as people, so work on incorporating more walks into the schedule.
If you’re too busy to do it yourself, or if you can’t do it for health reasons, we’ve got you covered! Waggy Tail Pet Care offers dog-walking services in addition to our range of other quality pet care options. Remember, a tired dog is a happier, calmer dog!
2. Offer Mental Exercise Options
Boredom can lead to anxiety and stress behaviors. Around the holidays, supply your dog with puzzles and toys that include tasty treats. Your pet will have to work to get to the treats, which will amuse him, work that doggy brain, and result in a happy, satisfied pet.
3. Prioritize Playtime
You may not think you have enough for spare minutes for even one more activity, but we recommend playing with your pet whenever you can. Even if it’s just a bit of tug-of-war, hide-the-toy, or fetch while you sit on the couch and watch TV, playing with your dog can have huge benefits for you and your pet. You’ll both feel more strongly bonded and more thoroughly relaxed after a fun session of play.
4. Take Time for Petting
Along the same lines, set aside moments to offer your dog physical affection by way of petting and words of affirmation. Your dog needs a friendly touch and a loving tone in order to feel secure and calm amid the stress of the holidays. Plus, the act of petting your dog will release positive chemicals in your brain as well, so it’s a win-win!
5. Give Back to Others
The holidays are all about giving back! If your dog is fairly well-behaved and loves meeting new people, why not take him or her to a local home for the elderly, a children’s hospital, a family shelter, or some other location where the residents would enjoy playing with and petting a friendly dog? Call first to see if pet visits are allowed, and then take your dog for an enjoyable, heartwarming holiday excursion.
If you’re leaving for the holidays, and you need someone to show love to your pet, Waggy Tail Pet Care is there for you and your furry friends! Our kind, capable pet lovers will provide walks, petting, playtime, and regular care to ensure that your dog remains happy and stress-free this holiday season. Check out our services online, or call us at 305-239-9299 with your questions. Happy Holidays!