The holiday season can be a stressful time for your Weimaraner. Dogs are creatures of habit, and do best with a regular routine. During the holidays, that routine can be drastically altered. Your Weim can also pick up on your own stress, no matter how subtle, and this can be upsetting to them. Weimaraner owners should be aware of their dogs’ sensitivities, and do what they can to make the holiday season as stress-free as possible for them.
Try to follow your Weim’s regular routine as much as possible. Take them for a long walk every morning. If you’re not already walking your Weim regularly, you need to start! Not only does it provide exercise and stimulation, but when done regularly, helps establish a routine and plays into your Weim’s pack mentality. Try talking them for their morning walk fairly early—before the human members of the family go about their activities for the day. This helps ensure your Weim is still calm when you head out for your walk, which with then further ease their stress.
Make sure your Weimaraner has their own space at home, and it is openly accessible. For many Weims, this is a crate. If you do not use a crate, however, then at the very least you should provide your Weim with their own bed. Place the bed in an area that is not the hub of activity or in the middle of heavy house traffic, but that is not isolated. A corner of the living room, perhaps. If they don’t already have such a space, make sure you provide one before the holiday festivities begin, and let them get used to it well in advance.
Provide various toys and bones to help keep your Weimaraner occupied. Having something constructive to do will go a long way toward keeping them calm during stressful times. Things such as raw bones, stuffed Kongs, and treat dispensing toys are good choices.
For especially anxious Weimaraners, there are several products available that are reported to help ease anxiety. Thundershirts are specialized jackets for dogs that are akin to swaddling an infant in a blanket. They provide a feeling of security, and the material hits on various pressure points to help ease anxiety.
Bach’s Rescue Remedy is a natural, homeopathic solution that has a calming effect. It can be used for travel, visiting the vet or groomer, separation anxiety, and for stressful times such as the holidays.
DAPs (Dog Appeasing Pheromones) work to ease anxiety with naturally calming pheromones. You can find it in collar, spray, or diffuser formula. (I recommend placing a DAP diffuser near their bed/crate.)
Take a look at Petsmart (2020 SW Westport Drive) and PetCo (1930 SW Wanamaker Road) for most of these products (and don’t forget to pick up a crate and/or bed if you don’t already have them).