Home for the Holidays

                   Visiting and having fun at Grandma's house. 

Home for the Holidays is what it's all about.  I love the Holiday season, I love spending time with family and having everyone together.  This of course can be a big change from the norm; which can mean some confusion for our canines.  The more activity that your dog is use to the better they will be able to adapt to the hustle and bustle that can come along with the Holiday season.  If your dog is use to a more calm and quiet lifestyle; then the commotion of having everyone home may just be too much.  Watch for the signs. 

Often when we come together; we bring dogs who do not live in the same household together.  That can mean stress, watch for it.  It can also mean exhaustion like with Penny and Elsa; no sleeping and just playing.  There are signs when they have had too much; which is when I separate them for a naptime.  Things get going to fast, literally.  Elsa starts to get a little more loud and Penny zooms.  That is when they both need a time out.  Left to their own they would continue; so human intervention is needed. 

Celebrate me home - Kenny Loggins

Lots of dogs are not happy to have a houseful of family and friends.  For those types, do them the favor of offering them a safe and quiet spot.  We had a party at our house on Saturday; it was actually my sons party so the house was filled with friends.  Both Luke and Elsa were out at the beginning.  Elsa was whipping everyone with her tail; Luke was socializing but staying close to me.  After about an hour they went upstairs to bed.  They had enough socializing for the evening and with  more people coming, space was getting a bit tight.  At that point Luke was more than happy to hit his bed and be quiet.  Of course Elsa would have loved to stay out and socialize but Luke needed her with him.  So they had a bit of both which was just right. 

There are many dogs who do not do well with anyone different in the house.  They need your help to be feel safe and secure.  Don't force them to enjoy the crowds that you enjoy.  Having a dog that is uncomfortable or past their comfort zone is not a good thing.   Offer them what they need to feel okay and then you can enjoy your friends.  The Holiday season can be wonderful, but it can also be very stressful for our dogs.  Know how much your dog can handle and still feel at a level of comfort.  As I always say, "they are all different."  At this time of year many dogs are pushed beyond their comfort zone; know your dog so that doesn't happen.