The Holidays are always a great time and it is always fun visiting with relatives that we don’t always see on a regular basis. The problem is that the commingling of these two events don’t always create a wonderful and happy time. All the stress and unique situations of The Holidays and the “personal requirements” of our “wonderful and highly loved” out of town relatives can sometimes cause problems.
The good news is that we are “humans” and understand the possibility of these situations and can often diffuse or minimize any problems. We have to remember; we were the ones inviting our family to stay with us over The Holidays. We can prepare and get the guest rooms ready. We can make sure the refrigerator is filled with the “special requirements food” of Uncle Bob. We can put all the breakable stuff away before our cousin’s overactive twins arrive.
The problem is that our dog has no idea what is going on. Sure, he has experienced friends and guests come to the house many times. He can make small adjustments such as not sitting on the sofa for a few hours, understanding that tonight’s dinner may be a little later than normal, or that there is no one-on-one playtime this afternoon. These are simple “hick-ups” in his consistent, daily life. When it draws out into days and even weeks; that is a whole different story.
How can we deal with the inconsistencies, traumas, and dramas of The Holidays and Holiday house guests and let our dog understand that everything is fine? It all comes down to management and balance. Robin and I have a great dog training article that explains everything. Please take a look at our Dog Safety Tips titled “How Do I Keep My Dog Safe for the Holidays with a House Full of Out of Town Family”.