Dog Training Blog
Post by: Andrea on Dec 15th 2020
Ensuring a Stress-free Holiday Season for Your Dog
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is often stressful for dogs. Bright, flashing lights and colorful decorations fill the house, guests come and go (and the doorbell is constantly ringing), delicious smells of off-limits food fills the house, furniture is rearranged, and your dog's routine is interrupted. Holiday parties are the most stress-inducing, and dangerous, events of the holiday season for pets and it's important to prepare your dog if you are the host this year.
Holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia are all common holiday plants and they are all toxic if ingested by pets. If decorating with these plants, keep them out of reach of your dog. Consider purchasing false plant decorations instead of living potted plants to further reduce the chance of ingestion.
Tinsel, ribbon, and other string-like decorations can cause intestinal blockage if your dog decides to eat them. Low-hanging glass ornaments on the tree are not a good idea, especially if you also have kittens around. Puppies love to chew on just about everything, and that includes the cords of all your holiday string lights, so be sure to keep them out of reach. Be cautious if lighting live candles as well, as a swinging tail can easily knock them over and cause disaster.
The sweet and savory smells of holiday foods are just as tempting to your dog as they are to you. But much of our favorite holiday fare, including chocolate, raisins, sweets, gravy, and other rich fatty foods, are toxic to our four-legged companions. It's best to keep Fido in his crate or shut in another room during mealtime. If you want to treat him to a special holiday meal, plain mashed potato and a bit of white turkey meat is a healthy and safe (and delicious!) option.
If your pet is prone to over-excitement every time the doorbell rings it's best to keep him in his crate while guests arrive. Dogs that are shy around guests may prefer to be kept in a quiet room alone during most of the festivities. Whether your dog is a social butterfly who adores attention or is more reclusive, it's always a good idea to prepare a "sanctuary" room that is off-limits to guests. Anytime your pet feels over-excited or anxious, place him in this quiet room with lots of toys. If your dog shows aggression around strangers, the best way to correct this behavior is with professional dog training.
While loud holiday parties are the peak of holiday excitement, there are plenty of other activities that are more mellow and pet-friendly. A little extra caution and planning are advised for parties, but you can still enjoy plenty of holiday fun with your dog.
- Wrap a few gifts and place them under the tree for your dog to happily rip open on Christmas morning.
- When your family goes to pick out the Christmas tree, bring your dog to the tree-farm and have him choose this year's tree!
- Long walks and extra play-time are a great way to give your dog some attention during your holiday break.
- The holiday season is all about giving and love, so make sure to show your pal just how much you appreciate him with extra snuggles.
The Dog Training Elite team wishes your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!