I wasn’t going to write a holiday pet post since everyone else is doing the same thing. But Ryan Novas offered to write one for me and this is a great article:
With all of the visitors, travel, food and general stress that can come along with the holidays, they can be hard on a person, so just imagine what all of this is like for a dog who doesn’t even understand what is going on! Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take that may help your dog deal with all the stress and stay happy. From keeping your pet away from ornaments and wrapper paper, to keeping them on their routine, here are 5 things you can do to help keep your pet happy through the holidays.
1. Keep your dog away from the Christmas trees and presents
Bows, bells and boxes might mean presents and ornaments to us, but for a curious dog, these may just be things to explore and chew on. Maybe you spent an eternity picking out the the perfect pair of dog slippers and then wrapped them up. However, it may only take your furry friend just a second or two to tear off the wrapping paper and turn them into their newest chew toy. You may want to keep the room with the tree and presents off limits to the dog until everything has been cleaned up and put away.
2. Keep your dog on his or her routine
With everyone zipping around from one party to another, cooking, eating, and shopping, it can be hard to keep a schedule. Despite this, keeping to your dog’s normal routine can help bring a little bit of normalcy back into their lives. Try to make sure you are still feeding and walking your dog at the same time every day, as the familiar structure can be a relief to them in times when they may be feeling ignored.
3. Have a plan for when guests arrive
Some dogs are terrific with guests, and others aren’t. You probably know which one yours is, and acting accordingly may save everyone human and canine plenty of stress . If your dog is just jumpy around guests, take them for a walk, play fetch, and get them tired out beforehand. If this isn’t enough to keep your dog on his or her best behavior, you should probably just have him or her secured in another room with a closed door before anyone sets foot in your home.
4. Let guests know the rules for your dog
Just like it is important for your dog to be on his or her best behavior around the guests, it can also be important to let your visitors know what is and isn’t ok to do with your dog. This can mean letting adults know it isn’t ok to share bits of food with your dog during the holiday feast, or letting kids know not to pull puppy tails. Taking these preventative steps may help make everything go smoothly and safely for your dog during the holidays.
5. Give them something special
Even if you follow all of the above steps, your dog may still get stressed out during the holidays. So, why not show a little compassion and holiday spirit by doing something special for them? Maybe give your furry friend that extra treat, a long belly scratch, a new dog toy or invite their friend along to the dog park.
Even though most people consider the holidays something to look forward to, they can also be stressful. Fortunately, there are plenty of steps you can take to make them easier for your dog. From keeping them out of areas with sparkly lights and gifts that can become chew toys, to letting your guests know what is and isn’t ok, these tips should help you to keep your dog and happy and safe through the holidays.