Christmas can be a bewildering time for dogs. Many changes occur in a short space of time. It begins with the Christmas and decorations going up. Then lots of people enter the house, many of whom stay over. And then there’s the general hustle and bustle of the season. It’s no wonder that dogs become stressed or over excited.
To keep your pooch feeling happy and calm over the Christmas period, follow this helpful advice.
- Try To Keep To Their Routine
Dogs are creatures of habit. They know when their food is due and when it’s time to go for a walk. Though you may be busy entertaining and preparing meals, etc., try to keep to your dog’s routine as much as possible. Take them for walks at the usual time and ensure they don’t have to wait for their food.
- Crate Training
Crate training is a great way to calm your dog and help them feel safe. If you intend to use this method over the holidays, make sure you begin in advance. Introducing this at an already stressful and confusing time is likely to add to their anxiety. Make sure you opt for the right crate for your dog. A heavy duty dog crate may be required for a big dog or one that is prone to escape.
Try to stick to your dog’s healthy diet as much as possible. A little turkey is fine as a treat, but make absolutely certain that it contains no bones. Don’t feed them scraps from the table which may cause stomach upsets. Certain foods such as alcohol and chocolate can be extremely dangerous for dogs. Make sure they can’t access these foods accidently. And warn any other guests who are staying with you.
- Supervise Them Around Young Children
Christmas is exciting for everyone, and young children can over get over excited. There’s likely to be a lot more activity in your home than your dog is used to. Even the best behaved and well-trained dogs can become overwhelmed and snap in self-defense or fear. Always supervise them around young children. If necessary, remove them from noisy, busy situations.
It’s also important to keep an eye on your dog when you’re unwrapping presents. In the excitement, you may not notice them chewing or eating wrapping paper or decorations, which may be harmful or cause choking. If you can’t keep an eye on them, remove them from the room until you’ve finished.
Dogs need lots of human contact and attention. Understandably your attention may be elsewhere during the festivities. This can be distressing for dogs as they don’t understand why they’re being ignored. Remember to involve your dog in the celebrations and give them lots of care and attention. It will avoid any behavior issues and will help them feel cared for and involved.
When putting together your lists this year and planning ahead, make sure your doggy friend is a part of this. After all, they are part of the family and should be treated as such.