Welcome To Coastal Canine Pet Services


Preparing Your Dog For Annual Celebrations


Annual celebrations are a special occasion for many people, whether its birthdays, anniversary, Easter, Halloween or Christmas. Your dog needs to be prepared for a change to the house.

Many houses are decorated in balloons, scary hanging ghosts and Christmas trees, which is all abnormal to see for your dog. Making a change gradually to your house with decorations will slowly allow your dog to become familiar with his/her surroundings, including if you need to move the furniture around, and their bed. Perhaps rewarding your dog while being able to sniff and check out the change and not reacting to the decorations negatively will help them make a positive association with the hanging ghosts or tinsel. Chocolate Christmas tree decorations need to be kept higher up out of reach to your dog. In fact, any sweets and chocolates need to be kept up high and out of reach from your dog.

Stress for some dogs, can start when there is a change to routine. Keeping to a routine can help your dog feel more comfortable for example set meal times, bed time, and walk time (if possible) Going for a walk, can help reduce stress levels, and release some energy making it easier for them relax. Make sure walks are done before dark, to avoid fireworks spooking your dog, or the costumes the children will be wearing.

Creating a safe space for them to hide will allow your dog to take him/herself off to get away from a possibly noisy living room full of kids (and/or adults). If your dog is crate trained, then you can also cover it up with a blanket, to make it more like a den. Educate the children and adults that are coming round, to leave your dog alone if they see him/her in their safe space, and never force them to stay in an atmosphere they are not comfortable with.

Lots of children and adults like dressing up in costumes for Halloween, Christmas or even birthdays in fancy dress. Owners can get their dog used to costumes by wearing something simple like funny sunglasses and then cloaks and finally adding masks, while treating their dog when approaching them. Never force your dog to approach you, if its scared, allow them to come to you in their own time, and reward them for doing so. Dressing your dog up can also seem like fun, however it may not be fun for the dog. Never force the dog to wear anything they are not comfortable with, like costumes that cover the face or head or restrict their movement. Remember a simple bow tie can still have the aww factor.

The doorbell may go a lot over Halloween or Christmas with Trick or Treating or carol singers. If your dog is reactive to the door bell, owners can desensitise their dog and give them a job to do, like go to a mat for a treat when the doorbell goes. Asking a friend to help practice this can help. So your friend rings the bell, and you ask your ask to go to their mat, treat, ask them to wait, answer the door, close the door and treat your dog for staying on their mat. Soon they will associate doorbell ringing with getting a treat if they go to their mat.

Distractions, like stuffed Kongs and playing games with your dog can really help them make them feel involved. This can also give them something else to focus on rather than the unusual surroundings, and tire them out so you can sit down with Christmas dinner, knowing they are resting.

Things owners could also consider is purchasing an Adaptil plug in diffuser, or Adaptil collar. These produce man made pheromones to replicate the hormones that their mother would pass to her puppies through heat, to give comfort and confidence to her young.

Remember the comfort and well-being of our pets is important, so we need to help them through what some dogs may find difficult  

Do you have any more tips to help prepare your dog for the annual celebrations? 

Our Blog

Contact Us