The holidays are fast approaching, and during this beautiful yet busy time of year, it is important to remember that our pets can get stressed out too. It could be that company is coming over and Aunt Petunia is not an animal lover. Or your family is rushing from event to event, shopping for gifts, and just generally busy and unavailable. As a result, your dog could end up being left alone for long parts of the day which could result in your dog acting out for attention. To help make your holiday gathering run a little smoother, keep reading for tips and tricks in keeping your pet occupied and feeling less stressed when you have people over.

Safe Place

If you plan on having holiday parties or family gatherings in your home and you know your dog is not used to being around that many people, provide your dog with a safe place where he can have some time to his own. You can create this safe space by setting up a bedding area in a corner of your bedroom. Consider adding a blanket or a plush toy for your dog to cuddle up to. If you have a dog that has more energy and needs to be kept occupied, consider a nylon dog chew while your family is over.

You can also create a safe space with a plastic kennel. Of course, if you choose to go this route, you'll need to set the kennel up a couple weeks before your holiday parties so that your dog has time to get used to the kennel. Read this guide on how to kennel train your dog. A kennel is a wonderful solution that provides a den-like environment your dog will enjoy, as well as keep him safely contained when the holiday season hits. Kennels provide a sense of security and comfort that is instinctive for dogs. Naturally, dogs are den animals, and although confinement does not feel natural to us, for a dog it is innate. Plastic dog kennels come in different sizes that are roomy enough for dogs to easily stand, sit, and lay down as well as give your dog a safe and comfortable place to retreat to when uncomfortable or if guests are around.

These days, there are plenty of amazing kennel accessories that are designed to make a cold plastic kennel much cozier for your dog. Consider adding a kennel mat inside your dog's plastic kennel. This adds some padding for your dog to rest on while inside the kennel. There are even food and water bowls available that attach to a kennel's wire door so that your dog constantly has access to food and water.

Petmate® created the very first kennel for pets in 1964 and ever since has been the expert in designing comfortable, safe, and innovative kennels and shelters for pets. This expertise led to a multitude of kennel options that range from basic plastic kennels to wire crates. Either option will provide welcome solace. A kennel can be placed in the family room or den so your pet will still be included in the gathering, but not underfoot.

Comfort Toys

Another important point to remember is that when your pet is in his kennel, he can still become nervous or overly excited if your home is full of strangers or has an unusual amount of activity. Provide some new toys that he can chew and gnaw to help relieve stress. Some of the most safest and durable dog chews on the market are Bark Bone Nylon Dog Chews. Pet Qwerks offers a wide variety of nylon dog chew bones that are extremely durable and infused with human-grade flavorings.

Another toy designed to keep your dog occupied is the JW Tumble Teez. This puzzle-treat toy dispenses treats as your pet nudges and paws at the toy.

Another essential way to help your pet de-stress is exercise. Taking time out of every day for some interactive fun will help relieve the boredom that can lead to unwanted behaviors and also provide some special time with you. Before gatherings, take your dog for a nice long walk or run. Consider a long game of fetch with interactive pet toys like the Chuckit!® Launcher. This ball launcher lets pet parents throw the ball 2-3 times further without throwing out their shoulders. Your dog will love the distance you're able to get with Chuckit! Launchers.


Be sure that your guests are aware that you have a dog. Remember, your home is your dog's home and dogs can sometimes be instinctively overprotective. If you choose to keep your dog out during gatherings, make sure your guests know not to leave any front doors open. If you have a lot of children coming over, be sure that they are not in your dog's face as this could scare your dog and possibly lead to a negative reaction.

In the end, you only know your dog and his personality. If you know your dog does not do well around people that he doesn't know, keep your pet separated in a quiet room. If you think your pet does okay with guests, be sure to still keep an eye on him and check on him regularly.

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