The holidays are fun for all including dogs, but dogs can get overexcited by guests and injured by holiday decorations and treats. Here are top holiday tips for a happy pooch!
1. Tire your dog out before visiting or receiving holiday guests.
Keep in mind that holiday visits are not typical visits. They may involve more heightened energy than normal, since often we haven’t seen these people in a while, and dog people have a tendency to get excited around others’ pets. Your dog is more likely to behave if it’s just had a nice long walk. If they’re not dog people, your guest may be nervous, insecure, and unsure; a tired dog can help these people relax.
2. Don't forget rules, boundaries, and limitations just because it's the holidays!
With aromatic Christmas food and sweets around the house, it’s easy for your dog to be tempted. Be sure to keep rules, boundaries and limitations the same and remind your dog of them. This is a great chance to reinforce good behaviour instead of allowing bad behaviour. Make it a great holiday and work on your leadership skills!
3. Protect your dog from the cold.
Many dog breeds are not comfortable in cold weather. We offer many warm and snuggly dog coats suitable for cold weather in all sizes. Small or thin-haired dogs are particularly vulnerable. You can also buy doggie boots and gear made specifically for cold weather. There are also paw waxes that protect from the cold and aid your dog’s grip on slippery surfaces like ice or snow. Learn about your dog’s endurance to cold and protect them accordingly. Take your dog for shorter walks during severe cold and supplement this with indoor exercise. Here you can find the perfect clothes to keep your dog warm.
4. Let your dog check the weather.
Dogs don’t read the weather forecasts, so they don’t know why they’re being denied their long daily walks. Allow your dog a short time outside and feel for themselves that it is too cold or that the weather is too bad for a long walk. Naturally they will understand why it’s kept inside in safety. Some dogs, when exposed to the cold for too long, develop thicker fur so they may not feel the cold as intensely as we do. Use this to your advantage if you want to keep taking your dog for walks in cold weather. However, please keep in mind that many short-haired breeds do not have this natural resistance to cold weather.
5. Be cautious when around the fireplace!
Animals are instinctual about fire; it is natural for an animal to stay away. However, during this holiday season, many owners like to dress their dogs up. Never use a product which may contain alcohol, such as hairspray, silly string, or entertainment paint, on a dog that will be around fire. Always be cautious near a fire with an animal that is wearing clothing. A stray piece of fabric can quickly cause the entire outfit to light on fire.Installing a screen on your fireplace is a good way to protect your pup. Never leave an animal alone in a room with a live flame and remember to test your smoke alarms and keep their batteries fresh.
6. Be aware of dangerous holiday items.
Chocolate is a poisonous treat and tinsel has sent many a dog to the emergency room, as it can easily cut up intestines. Paper-based tinsel is generally a safer option, but the plastic or metallic-based varieties should not be used. It’s tempting to share some of the Christmas food with your dog, some of which may be bad for their diet or harmful. You could instead give them their own beef, potato and vegetables dinner. Here is the perfect Christmas dinner for your dog.
7. Protect your presents and decorations.
Remember that a dog will know if a gift contains something edible, even if you don’t. Ask your guests in advance if there is food inside the presents, and keep them out of your dog’s reach! Keep fragile ornaments toward the top of the Christmas tree; only place sturdy ones near the bottom. Often people use a pen to keep dogs away from their tree. Keep it fun by decorating the pen with ribbons. And, above all, set rules, boundaries, and limitations!
8. Live in the moment! Be happy! Laugh! Celebrate!
Live in the now, with your dog right next to you and your family around you. Your dog is going to get the benefit of it, particularly if you don’t have days like this on a regular basis. This special day will linger in his or her memory, and, hopefully, you can learn to practice these days more often, not just during the holiday season.