Top tips to keep your dog calm at Christmas

Top tips to keep your dog calm at Christmas

Christmas is bound to be very different this year, but hopefully we can still enjoy some of the seasonal festivities. Fingers crossed we can spend the big day itself, with friends and family. 

Christmas is a huge time for our dogs. People coming and going, decorations inside and out, tempting food everywhere and just lots of excitement.

For some dogs this can be too much. Especially if you add other family members dogs into the mix. I’ve got 5 top tips to keep your dog calm at Christmas.

Tip 1. Make a plan

This sounds obvious, but you need a plan. Ask yourself do you need to take your dog with you. When will they be walked. Where can you put their bed that will allow them some peace and quiet and be their safe space. Have you ordered your dogs food/medication etc.

Making a plan will help you keep in control of your dog’s physical and mental well being.  From little things such as bagging up their food into individual bags, if you are going away, will ensure that anyone can feed your dog and save from any of those conversations about the portion size of your dogs meal.

plan for christmas

Tip 2. Get your dog ready in the days beforehand

You might have a tradition of a long dog walk after Christmas dinner or you may not find the time to walk your dog on Christmas day. 

You dog will survive without a walk one day. There is no need to feel guilty about it, Christmas Day is hectic enough! But in the lead up, take them on some longer walks. A tired dog is a calm dog.

Not only that, but it is a great way to enjoy some stress free time with just you and your dog.

As well as walks you can use Kongs, snuffle mats, lickimat and any other brain/food games for your dog.  Again these will help to tire your dog out.

christmas dog walks

Tip 3. Sleep time

The other key to your dog being calm is that they get enough rest. Ideally they need a good sleep the day before. You know what works best for your dog. A combination of a long walk and some brain games should help them have a long sleep.

A tired dog is a calm dog but an over tired dog can become boisterous, anxious or destructive to name just a few traits.

Dogs can get just as over excited as children who don’t have enough sleep. Don’t underestimate the power of sleep. 

calm dog at christmas

Tip 4. Meet any new dogs outside

If there is a new dog in the family/household and you dog hasn’t met them yet, then arrange to do so outside. This should be done on a lead and the dogs should meet parallel to each other. Avoid face to face as their first meet as this can be quite confrontational for them.

Start off in a field on opposite sides and gradually move closer.  If your dog is showing signs of stress then take a step back or two.  This could take a while, so don’t expect two strange dogs to be best buddies within minutes.

Allow them space and time to meet.

meeting a new dog

Tip 5. Relax

Your dog picks up on your stress, so relax and have a glass of bubbly or sit down and enjoy the Christmas film.

If you are anxious then your dog will pick up on it.  Some dogs will become very anxious themselves others won’t leave you side and will struggle to settle.

Christmas really isnt about perfection, it’s about spending time with your nearest and dearest.  So get your family and guests involved and let them takecare of some of the workload.

calm dog at christmas

If you would like more of my top tips to keep your dog calm at Christmas tips you can purchase my online course.

There are 12 videos to take you through more of the above plus another 7 tips.

You can find out more by clicking this button:

Lastly I would just like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, stay safe.

Sally Cousins is a self confessed mad dog lady!  

After being mum to several rescue dogs she decided to turn her passion in to her career and set up her own dog walking business back in 2015.

Sally not only runs her business, Woofers Dog Services,  she also writes for her own blog and also does guest blogs for other dog businesses. Sally is also the author of  “The Lockdown Dog” and “Dazzle Your Dog” You can also find Sally chatting as a guest  on dog related podcasts.

Dog Walking and Training Haverhill