The holiday season is filled with excitement which often brings visitors in our homes. For our four-legged friends this can be a stressful time as new people and smells enter their home and often times their routine is disrupted. Here are some tips to keeping your best friend happy and relaxed during the holidays.
Understand your dog’s body language. All of our dogs are usually the life of “our” party, but not all dogs want to be in the mix of your holiday bash. If your dog is a little on the shy side, reserved, or in general not tolerant of new people in their space (I don’t blame them) consider setting up a quiet spot in a room where visitors won’t be. Include a frozen topple see my previous blog, or their favorite chew toy. Leave some music or the TV on for them, white noise can help your buddy from focusing on the excitement happening down the hall. If your buddy is naughty without supervision, use a secure crate and include some toys or chews for a distraction make sure they’re durable and not easily consumed, safety first.
Don’t forget to keep up your normal exercise routine. Afterall, dogs are very routine beings. If you don’t believe that dogs are in tune with routines, come by my house around 5PM and you’ll hear my dogs reminding me it’s “5PM feeding time”. Walking this time of year can be a challenge depending on where you live, so if the weather is bad play a few quick sessions of tug on your potty walks, use some food puzzles or do some indoor training. If you need some ideas on quick fun trick training sessions visit my facebook page.
If your dog is going to be one of the guests at the main event, make sure everyone is aware of feeding restrictions and other potential dangers for the dog (running out the door, herding strange kids 😉 etc). A few unseasoned green beans or a bite of white turkey meat is okay. The leftover turkey leg or a plate of gravy covered stuffing is not the best choice. If you have a counter surfer make sure the chocolate is out of reach. For a well written blog on holiday foods that are safe and those to avoid check out this blog shared by AKC.
From our family to yours, Happy Holidays!