The Paw Print Blog

Pet Parenting Articles

7 tips to help your dog cope when he’s home alone for the holidays

You might enjoy a little solitude amid the holidays’ frenetic mix of friends, fun and festivities. Your dog – not so much.

Your pups are highly social animals and they will miss you as you flit from one party to another and go on day-long shopping binges.

A house full of chattering guests can lead to issues for dogs during the holidays. An empty house poses challenges, too, especially if your pup is prone to separation anxiety. That can manifest itself in many ways, including barking, whining, pacing and destructive actions like shredding the presents under the tree. There are ways, however, to make your dog feel part of the highly social holidays. Nobody likes to be left Home Alone during the holidays, no matter the amount of mischief to be had.

Here are some ways you can keep your pup occupied in an empty house or elsewhere until friendly family faces reappear later in the day or evening.

  1. Install a pet door. If your dog has access to secure and safe outside areas, allow him to come and go during the day or evening via a PetSafe® brand dog door. That way he can vary his schedule at will to get some fresh air, catch some fresh scents and do his business -- one less thing pet parents have to worry about when they leave their furry friend at home during the busy holiday season.
  2. Secure the Christmas tree. One way to effectively keep pets away from the Christmas tree -- and the collection of presents beneath it -- is to use a pet deterrent. The battery-powered PetSafe® ScatMat® Indoor Pet Training Mat delivers a static correction to trespassing pets before they can reach the tree and its tempting ornaments. The curved, 50-inch by 12-inch version is perfect for the base of a Christmas tree. Check out other PetSafe® pet deterrent systems to find one that best suits the needs of you, your pets and your family.
  3. Dig into doggie daycare. Consider putting the pups in doggie daycare or dog camp while you wrap up holiday shopping or head out in search of the perfect Christmas tree. They’ll have lots of company and have fun with a friendly pack while your children are at school or you are at work. PetSafe® Village, for example, has a variety of programs designed to entertain and enrich your pup during the day.
  4. Try treats and toys. Treat toys can keep your dogs occupied for hours and keep their minds off their absent loved ones. PetSafe® brand dog toys like the Ribinator keep pups occupied for hours. Other dog toy options to calm dogs in your absence include the Ricochet, a great pair of interactive dog toys that will keep multiple pups engaged for hours.
  5. Nip barking in the bud. If your dog is feeling a mite lonely, there’s a chance he will blow his top if neighborhood carolers come calling (or you’re receiving your 12thAmazon package of the day) while you’re off somewhere getting into the ‘nog. One way to stave off barking is the PetSafe® Spray Bark Collar. Once acclimated to the collar, your dog will take a break from barking with an automatic spray or static correction.
  6. Feeders and fountains.  There’s no bigger trigger for guilt than realizing you forgot to fill your friend’s bowl with water or kibble. PetSafe® brand automatic pet feeders and pet fountains can ensure your furry family members never miss a meal and stay well hydrated, which is important even during the winter.
  7. Grow your family: There are always pets in need of a home, and dogs can bond with other dogs, cats and birds. Even dogs and horses can pal around.

These tips can keep your canine feeling loved until the frantic holidays spiral down to a quiet conclusion and your entire family can gather around the Christmas tree. Your dog will look on in customary good cheer from his place in front of the fireplace, satisfied the whole pack will stick together for a while.

© PetSafe. All Rights Reserved. Content is provided as a public service. Links and views may lead to companies that may or may not be affiliated with PetSafe or other brands of Radio Systems Corporation.