The holiday season is one of the best times of the year. But, while you may be busy decorating, baking, wrapping gifts, hosting family and friends, and throwing diets out the window in favor of feasting, there is one family member that may get confused by all of the excitement and schedule changes -- your dog!
So, don't let a doggie disaster turn both you and your furry friend's Holiday "Ho-Ho-Ho!" into a Holiday "Oh No!" Here are some tips to help prepare your pooch for the holidays.
Play First, Party Later
It’s easy to get wrapped up in holiday party preparation and forget your regular puppy playtime routine – that is, if you’re dog lets you. If you want to enjoy your holiday party, make sure the pre-pawty with your pooch is extra fun! Plan for an extra walk or round of fetch during the day before your guests arrive to help your furry friend get their zoomies out for the evening.
Your dog will also be calmer if their routine isn’t too affected. Also, stick to a regular feeding schedule to avoid a hangry pup when it’s time for you and your guests to chow down.
Sometimes the holiday hustle and bustle can be a little too much excitement for your furry friend. Give your companion a safe and quiet holiday hideout, where they can retreat when the party starts raging. This can be their crate or a special cozy room that holiday guests can visit in small groups without overwhelming their pup.
Train Your Holiday Guests
Training your guests is just as important as training your dog. If you are hosting, watch your dog closely for signs of discomfort with different guests, especially kids. Avoid awkward situations by explaining to your guests what your dog likes and doesn’t like.
Make sure your guests know the house rules when it comes to not sharing table scraps or teaching them other unwanted behaviors. If everyone knows how to behave toward their furry co-host, both you and them will be less stressed.
Table Scraps = Tummy Aches (or worse!)
This time of year, we humans treat ourselves to an abundance of confections, baked goods, and rich, fattening foods but beware! What is safe(ish) for us may not be safe at all for our furry friends.
We know it's hard to say no to those begging puppy dog eyes, but it's best to avoid sharing table scraps and stick to your pup's normal diet as much as possible. Nothing ruins a holiday faster than a sick pup puking and pooping (yuck!) all over the house.
Beware of Bones!
Even the most well-behaved dogs may not realize the turkey on the table or the bones in the garbage are not meant for them. Turkey bones are especially brittle and can break into small, sharp pieces when chewed.
Make sure you have eyes on your dog at all times when the turkey is within their reach. Remove their temptation to chow down on a juicy turkey leg leftover and take the trash out right away after dinner. Chewing on any cooked animal bones can lead to broken teeth, which can be painful and put your pup at risk for an infection.
Whether you’re headed over the river and through the woods or Grandma and the family are coming to you, we wish you and your pups a happy, calm, well-behaved, and vet visit free holiday season!