Q. Do dogs feel stressed at the holidays like people?
A. Dogs certainly can feel stressed at the holidays. But they obviously don’t stress for the same reasons we stress. What our canine companions can stress from is our reactions to the busy season. We all have so much more to do; shopping, entertaining, wrapping, decorating, etc., and, with all those additional activities, it stresses us more than normal. Anytime we are stressed or anxious, the dogs will feel the energy from your emotions. And, just like people, all dogs react differently to those energies, anxiousness, and emotions.

I find that when I get so busy and feel I am being pulled in many directions, it helps my me , as well as my dogs, to just STOP for a few minutes. Even if I have a thousand things to do, I take the time to sit down on the floor with my dogs. I play with them, I pet and love on them. I find it relaxes me as much as it does my dogs. It has even been proven that petting a pet can lower your blood pressure. I feel better because I gave my dogs some one-on-one time and I know they enjoyed that personal time with me.

I actually make it a point to STOP every day, either in the morning or before we go to bed, to play with my dogs. Life gets so crazy and the days just seem to fly by, so take the moment! You will both be glad you did!


Tina McCain, MDTB/CNWI is the owner MerryMac Dog Training in Woodstock, Georgia. Tina has been successfully training dogs for over 40 years in and around Atlanta including Cobb, Fulton and Cherokee county puppies and dogs. Tina is a Certified Master Dog Educator/Trainer, an NACSW Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI), an AKC Certified Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and a Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. MerryMac Dog Training is located at 2485 Towne Lake Parkway | Suite 108 | Woodstock, Georgia 30189. Phone: 770-579-3865.