Tips for Anxious Dogs During the Holidays

Basic Dog Training

October 12, 2022

Tips for Anxious Dogs During the Holidays

The holiday season is a favorite for most! Fun activities plus more time with family and friends put most in the holiday spirit. We all know the other side of the holidays too; the stressful side! Did you know that the holiday season can also be stressful for our dogs? With people constantly coming and going, including new friends, every dog reacts different. Some welcome the attention with open paws, while other dog’s anxiety levels go through the roof!

In today’s post, we’re sharing some helpful tips on how to help anxious dogs during the holidays!

1. Invest In Dog Enrichment Toys​

One of the first ways that you can help an anxious dog is to invest in some dog enrichment toys! Many dog enrichment mats, dog puzzles and toys are designed to reduce stress and anxiety while providing mental enrichment for your dog. Below are some of the top dog enrichment toys and brands on the market!

Lickimat For Dogs

Originally from Australia, the Lickimat has become one of the top dog enrichment toys across the globe. Licking mats for dogs help soothe anxious dogs as they lick the dog enrichment mat. Lickimats for dogs come in many different textures, including their Lickimat Tuff Series!

You can put just about any dog friendly toppings on your Lickimat, but many people get super creative with their designs! If you search #lickimat on Instagram you will find some of the most beautiful pieces of art made just for dogs! Plus, you can also find tons of dog lick mat ideas and recipes just by searching on Google or Pinterest!

West Paw Dog Toys​

Another super popular dog enrichment toy brand is West Paw! West paw dog toys are made out of their own recycled material and are designed to create hours of enrichment for your dog! Some of their most popular toys are:

  • West Paw Toppl (comes in many sizes that you can put inside of each other for added challenges!)
  • West Paw Zogoflex
  • West Paw Qwizl

Similar to Lickimats, if you go to West Paw’s Instagram or search their hashtag #toppltuesday you will find some of the coolest Toppl recipes out there! These recipes (for Lickimats as well) are catered towards raw and non-raw feeding/treat ideas so there truly is something for everyone!

Kong Dog Toys​

The third and probably most well-known dog enrichment toy in the world is KONG. KONG dog toys have been around since 1976 and have created every dog owner’s household staple, the KONG classic!

KONG actually has a full library of KONG stuffing ideas on their website (including fun holiday recipes) that you can make for your pup! In addition to this, you can search on Pinterest or Google for KONG stuffing/filling recipes to find delicious dog friendly recipes made from food and dog bloggers!

2. Create A Safe Space For Your Dog​

The second way to help soothe an anxious dog is to create a safe space for your dog. Some dogs like to be out with all of the attention, while others would prefer to be tucked away from all the excitement. There are two products that can help create a safe space for your dog.

Dog Crate

The first product you can use is a dog crate. One of the biggest purposes of a dog crate is to give your dog a place to go where they can feel comfortable and safe at all times. We recommend investing in a metal crate rather than a plastic dog crate since plastic dog crates can be chewed through.

Carlson Pet Products has metal dog crates available in many sizes (including designs with double doors that aid in traveling with your dog!) that fit dog breeds of all sizes! You can find all of our dog crates here.

Dog Gate​

The second product you can use is a dog gate! Dog gates can help create a safe space for your dog by blocking off a certain part of the house that your dog can stay in away from the company.

The great thing about dog gates is that you can find one for both indoor and outdoor use, dog gates for large openings, retractable/expanding dog gates, and tall dog gates!Check out our blog post about the 3 Benefits Of Dog Gates to learn more about how dog gates can help your dog can keep other pets and company in the house happy.

3. Research Calming Dog Products​

The third way you can help soothe an anxious dog is to research calming dog products. While there are many out there on the market, one that has been around since 2009, is Thundershirt! This anxiety jacket for dogs was initially designed for the founder’s dog who would get terrified from thunderstorms and fireworks, something many dogs are afraid of!

The Thundershirt for dogs is designed to add a gentle, constant pressure to help calm your dog in many stressful and exciting situations. Since holiday celebrations like New Year’s Eve or the 4th of July come with loud, long-lasting firework presentations, if your dog becomes afraid, this could be an option for you!

**Please consult your veterinarian if you would like any more information about any calming dog products before using.**

Everyone deserves to have a happy holiday, even our pups! We hope these tips for helping anxious dogs were helpful and we’re always here to answer any questions you may have. Send us a message on Instagram and we’ll be happy to help!