Holiday tips for Dog Owners

  |   Dog Advice, Dog health

The Holidays are a fun and relaxing time of year for most of us, however they can be stressful to pets. Here are some tips to help you get through the season and make it enjoyable for dogs and owners alike.

 

Decorating:

 

  • Avoid tinsel, garlands and wreaths that may shed onto the floor. Dogs could ingest the pieces and get sick.
  • Poinsettia plants are festive, but they are also toxic to pets. Keep them out of reach or avoid all together.
  • If you have a rambunctious dog or young puppy, Christmas trees can be a hazard, especially if knocked over. Either keep them in a room where your dog does not have access or elevate the tree. If you have a young puppy, maybe skip the tree for a year until they are older. Supervise all puppies around the Christmas tree.
  • Keep wrapped gifts out of reach of puppies. The wrapping and bows could make for a fun shredding session if the pup is unsupervised.

 

Guests visiting:

 

While most dogs love having people visit, some shy or territorial dogs don’t always enjoy the intrusion. The holiday season is a time when lots of people are in and out of your home. Here are some ideas:

 

  • Teach your dog the “Place Command” (google Place Command). This will teach your dog to calmly stay on their bed or in their crate when guests are entering or during dinner. This is especially good for shy dogs.
  • Give your dog busy toys to stay occupied, like a stuffed Kong or a bone.
  • Give them a nice long walk or a play session with a buddy before a party. A tired dog is a good dog!
  • Consider boarding your dog at a facility if you are having a lot of guests over if you believe that having them home will be stressful for the dog and you.

 

Most dogs enjoy the Christmas season just as much as their owners. Always try to keep the above tips in mind to keep them safe and try to give them lots of exercise. Keeping your dog on a slightly similar schedule even if you may be home during the holidays will also help them to adjust to the other changes. Have a Wonderful Holiday Season!