The holiday season is just around the corner, and for many of us, that means spending quality time with loved ones, indulging in delicious meals, and creating memories. But don't forget about your furry family member during this festive time!
We look at the ways you can help your dog enjoy this holiday season, with a special focus on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Stick to Your Routine
Dogs thrive on routines, and the holiday season can disrupt their daily schedule. Try to maintain their regular feeding times, walks, and playtime as much as you can. Keeping their schedule consistent will help reduce stress and anxiety.
Dog Friendly Holiday Meals
While it's tempting to share holiday feasts with your dog, not all human foods are safe for them. Avoid giving your dog turkey bones, chocolate, grapes, onions, and foods high in fat. Instead, prepare special dog-friendly holiday treats or consider purchasing yummy dog treats. While you are enjoying treats, make sure your dog doesn't get left out.
Holiday Decorations and Safety
Decking the halls with festive decorations is a time-honored tradition, but it's essential to ensure they don't pose a danger to your dog. Keep ornaments and tinsel out of reach to prevent choking hazards. Avoid using plants like poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe, which can be toxic to pets.
Give them a Safe Space
The holiday season can be chaotic, with guests, loud music, and celebrations. Create a safe and quiet space for your dog where they can retreat to when they need a break from the crowded or noisy room. Make sure they have their bed, toys, and water bowl in this designated area.
Behavior and Training
As your house fills with guests and holiday activities, it's crucial to maintain your dog's good behavior. Consider brushing up on training commands and etiquette to ensure your dog is well-behaved around guests. Positive reinforcement techniques can help your pup behave during the festivities.
Taking Your Dog Away
You may visit friends and family over the holidays and be able to bring your pet with you, if this is the case you should make sure that they are properly introduced to the new space, new people and any other animals that may be there.
Bring home comforts like their dog bowl, bed and blanket and bring enough of their dog food and treats that you won’t need to use a different brand.
Keeping as much consistency will limit stress and anxiety and as such they will feel safer and behave better in a different space.
Going Away Without Your Dog
If your holiday plans include travel or events where your dog can't join, make arrangements well in advance. You can choose to leave them with a trusted friend or family member, or consider a reputable pet sitter or boarding facility. Ensure your dog is comfortable with their temporary caregiver and that they have all the necessary supplies and instructions.
If they are staying away from home give them their blanket or dog bed with their comforting smells and make sure they have their own brand of dog food that they are used to.
The holiday season can be overwhelming for your dog with new smells, sounds, and people. Always be mindful of your dog's comfort and well-being. A little extra love and attention will go a long way in making the holiday season a joyful time for your family pet. By following these tips and planning ahead, you can ensure that both you and your dog have a happy and stress-free holiday season.
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