We Spoke To An Expert For Tips On Keeping Your Dog Calm During The Hectic Holiday Season

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 Pet-Expert Advice For Keeping Your Dog Calm During The Hectic Holiday Season

Spruce Pets / Alli Waataja

As the holiday season reaches a crescendo, it’s important to remember how the excitement and stress of the season can impact your dog. “Dogs are very attentive and they read our energy,” said Dr. Kristien Wuellner, a veterinarian on staff with Hill’s Pet Nutrition. “It’s important to stick to your dog’s normal routine as much as possible to give them the structure they need during this odd time of year.” 

We spoke with Dr. Wuellne to get her tips on keeping our dogs safe, comfortable, and happy during the holiday season. “Make sure they are fed, have gone on a walk, have a space where they can retreat with their favorite bed and toy, and if you are traveling, don’t give them new food or treats.” 

Everyone’s plans are different, so we highlighted recommendations for having guests over in your home, capturing holiday photos, and holiday travel with a dog to help you find the best products suited for your seasonal needs.

Preparing Your Dog’s Den For Holiday Guests

Dr. Wuellner advises limiting the number of new people interacting with your dog. “People who are unfamiliar with your dog’s temperament might unintentionally startle your dog, so it’s best for everyone if introductions are minimized.” If you are having people over, you should make sure your dog has access to a calm space where they can be alone with a cozy bed, dim lighting, a bowl of fresh water, and a favorite toy.

Our Top Picks

Richell Wood Freestanding Gate

Richell Wood Freestanding Pet Gate


A dog gate is a great way to section off an area in your home for your dog. The Richell Wood Freestanding Pet Gate is sturdy, easy to assemble, and doesn’t require drilling into a wall. It comes in two heights and the width is adjustable to fit your space.

Price at time of publish: $128 (Large)

FurHaven Plush & Suede Orthopedic Sofa Dog Bed

The FurHaven Plush & Suede Orthopedic Sofa Dog Bed


Dogs sleep throughout the day (it’s a nice life!), so make sure their designated area in your home includes a comfortable bed where they can unwind. The Furhaven Plush & Suede Orthopedic Sofa Dog Bed was a top performer in our at-home testing this year. It’s available in a wide range of sizes, has a removable cover that can be machine washed, and has three bolstered sides to accommodate a variety of sleeping positions.

Price at time of publish: $47 (Large)

Eufy Pet Dog Camera D605

Eufy Dog Camera D605


Keep an eye on your dog from your mobile while you are in another room with the eufya Pet Dog Camera D605. This pet camera provides high-quality audio, video with automatic night vision, and a 170-degree wide-angle lens to follow your dog’s movement

Price at time of publish: $200

Family Photos 

Dressing up your dog in a festive frock is fun, but never leave them in their outfit unattended. “Take it off as soon as you are done with the photos to let their coat breath,” shared Dr. Wuellner. You should also keep holiday decorations, even the ones made for dogs, away from the area where they sleep and eat.

Dog Threads Caribou Sweater

caribou dog threads sweater

Dog Threads

You can keep your Dog Threads Caribou Sweater on for as long as you like but pop off your pup’s matching jumper as soon as you snap a few photos. Both the dog and human sweater is available in six different sizes, suitable for most breeds and ranging from extra small to XXL.

Price at time of publish: $42

Chuckit! Classic Ball Launcher

Chuckit! Classic Ball Launcher


Your dog will be in a better mindset for anything the holiday season brings their way if they are able to expend their energy. A game of fetch with the Chuckit! Classic Ball Launcher is a useful tool for dogs that love to retrieve. With an ergonomic handle, you can launch a brightly colored ball two to three times farther. Plus, the balls are made without latex, bisphenol A (BPA), and phthalates.

Price at time of publish: $7

Hill's Natural Baked Light Biscuits with Real Chicken Dog Treats

Hill's Natural Baked Light Biscuits with Real Chicken Dog Treats


A tasty bite is a great reward for pawticpating and behaving. Hill’s Natural Baked Light Biscuits with Real Chicken Dog Treats are low in calorie and made without corn, artificial colors, and flavors. And while it may be tempting to give your dog a taste of your favorite holiday foods, its best to stick with treats formulated for a dog’s digestive system. 

Price at time of publish: $9

Howliday Travel

If you are traveling with your dog, their safety and comfort is a top priority. “Stick to basics by providing the proper nutrition and physical activity for your dog’s size and age along with your affection and attention,” instructs Dr. Wuellner.

EzyDog Drive Dog Car Harness

The EzyDog Drive Dog Car Harness


If your dog is riding in a car, they should be properly secured in the backseat with a restraint or car seat. The EzyDog Drive Dog Car Harness is available in three sizes (small, medium, large) and has four adjustable points to fit most dogs. It can be used for walks, but it’s not interchangeable with a walking harness. It was independently crash tested and certified by the Automotive Safety Engineering in Australia. It also surpasses Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards the Department of Transportation established for child restrain systems.

Price at time of publish: $125

KONG Classic Dog Toy

Kong Classic Dog Toy


The Kong Classic Dog Toy is a favorite of Dr. Wuellner’s. It’s easy to fill with natural peanut butter or your dog’s favorite kibble, and the unique shape of the rubber toy will keep your dog engaged as they chew, paw, and lick. Plus, it’s affordable, dishwasher safe, and comes in a variety of sizes. 

Price at time of publish: $9

ThunderShirt for Dogs

ThunderShirt Classic Anxiety & Calming Vest for Dogs


Similar to a weighted blanket, the ThunderShirt Classic Anxiety & Calming Vest For Dogs provides a gentle hugging sensation that some dogs find calming. It’s easy to pack, made with breathable fabric, and hook and loop closures make it simple to get on and off of your dog.

Price at time of publish: $50

Share The Holiday Love

You can teach a dog to ‘stay’, but can’t teach a dog to ‘stay calm’. Dr. Wuellner strongly advises keeping mealtime, walks, and their space as predictable as possible. “Giving your dog love, attention, and the right food for their size with the proper nutrition is key to keeping them healthy throughout the holiday and the new year.”

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