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How to Socialize Your Dog During the Holidays

A woman in christmas pajamas sits on her couch next to a pug.

The holiday season is here, and many of us are looking forward to gathering with our friends and family. While this may be a time for us to celebrate and cherish special moments, the holiday season can be an anxiety- and stress-inducing time for dogs. Loud and crowded situations may elicit a fear or aggression response in dogs that affects everyone in the room. Our friends at Dogdrop, a dog care company in Los Angeles, are providing tips on how to socialize your dog during the holidays so they can be part of the party.

Take them for a walk. 

Taking your dog on daily walks is one of the best ways to socialize your dog. This is because they are exposed to their surroundings, encountering new faces and new dog friends. Socialization helps build their comfort and confidence in new situations like holiday parties. So, taking your dog on a walk before the party starts ensures that they get socialization, cardio, and won’t have a potty accident in front of guests. 

Make sure your dogs get their playtime. 

Most dogs are furry balls of energy. That’s why they require at least 30 minutes of playtime and mental stimulation per day. Playing with your dog will ensure that they exert their energy in time for the holiday gathering. No one wants their dog jumping on guests as they arrive. Tiring them out is the best way to ensure your dog is relaxed during the holidays. Play catch, tug of war, or give them a few interactive dog toys. We suggest a treat-dispensing toy made of durable rubber. It serves as a chew toy and mental stimulation as dogs have to work for the reward inside. You can even fill the toy with a calming chew to help reduce general anxiety.

Drop them off at a dog daycare.

Let’s face it - so many of us end up doing last-minute shopping and preparation for our holiday gatherings. Especially if you’re the host, things can get hectic, and we end up with less time to tend to our pups. That’s where dog daycare comes in. Dog daycares like Dogdrop are there for busy dog parents to drop off their fur child for as many hours as needed. So while you run errands and prepare a fabulous party, your dog can be in daycare receiving all the socialization, exercise, and treats they need.

Make sure your dog is well-fed. 

If you want your dog to be a guest at your holiday gathering, make sure there is food and treats for them too. And as tempted as we may be to fall for their puppy eyes, it’s best not to give our dogs any of our delicious holiday food. Plan ahead and prepare your dog’s meals so they can join us at the table—spice up their meals for the holidays with Native Pet’s Pumpkin Powder. Pumpkin has not only become a fall staple, but it’s also a tasty treat for dogs that serves as a natural first-aid for diarrhea and constipation. A win-win for dogs and dog parents!

playtime is important for socializing your dog

Keep your dog entertained. 

Boredom behaviors in dogs can result in them chewing something they're not supposed to or excessively licking, among other things. You must keep your dog entertained to make sure they are socializing well with other guests and dogs at the holiday gathering. This can be done by enjoying activities that they can be included in, like dancing to your favorite music or playing hide-and-seek. If your dog doesn’t want to participate, don’t force them.

yaw chews for dogs


They can enjoy a Yak Chew instead! This high-protein hard cheese chew made with yak’s milk holds hours of chewy entertainment. So you can enjoy the holiday party and have peace of mind knowing your dog is perfectly okay.

Written by Dogdrop

Dogdrop provides the best dog daycare and pet care service in Los Angeles. Their daycare offers a safe place for socialization, directed activity, training reinforcement, and more. They have the best quality dog essentials for pet owners. Dogdrop is the best place for dogs to learn, exercise, and socialize to become happier and healthier dog citizens.


FAQ about how to socialize your dogs on holidays.

Is it ever too late to socialize your dog?

The short answer is no; it is never late. You can socialize your dog at any age. The best period to socialize your dog is between 8 weeks to 4 months. This is the perfect age when your dog learns fast.

What is the best way to socialize a dog with other dogs?

The best way to socialize a dog with other dogs is through frequent visits to a dog park. During the first week or so you should not go inside the park. Let your dog take its own time. Always give a treat to your dog when it comes near the boundary or the dog park fence.

Can a dog be forced to socialize?

It is not a good idea to force your dog to socialize. This will only increase anxiety and fear, leading to aggression. Let your dog naturally learn to socialize. Each dog has its pace of learning.

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