“winter is coming…”

..and so are the holidays! That means family, friends, food, and a little bit of anxiety to make sure everything goes down without a hitch. While we can’t help you prepare the turkey, we can definitely ensure your pup has a delightful time over the holiday season with these 6 tips.

1. Food

We love our pups, and we want them to enjoy all the delights that we are feasting on over the holidays. However, there are some foods that are really harmful to pups and can cause an unwanted trip to the vet.

Can Eat:

  • Turkey (without skin)
  • Chicken (no bones)
  • Cooked Sweet Potatoes (no extra ingredients)
  • Baked Potatoe
  • Pumpkin
  • Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Bananas
  • Apples 

Cannot Eat

  • Alcohol (Yes, we’ve heard stories)
  • Caffeine
  • Candy
  • Chocolate
  • Dairy Products
  • Eggnog
  • Garlic, onions, and chives
  • Nutmeg
  • Nuts
  • Raisins or Grapes
  • Salts/Sugars

2. Train greetings

Training is an essential part in making sure your pup isn’t a tyrant around guests. You have to start those controlled greetings BEFORE the big day or you won’t have any chance at controlling that behavior once people arrive.

Start with another family member, and practice walking your dog up to them without jumping, pulling, or being too pushy. If your dog is rambunctious by nature, practice this with a leash and collar so that you can correct inappropriate behavior and redirect back into positive with a treat. 

If you need help with this, give a training school like Partners Dog Training a call. 

3. Watch child interactions

The holidays are filled with energy (and stress), and many new faces. Therefore it’s not a surprise, why we hear of more dog bites around the holidays. Again, these are all manageable, and if you’re worried about your dog potentially harming a guest it’s important to seek professional help.

That said, even if your dog is great around people. You SHOULD ALWAYS watch them around kids. Kids often times don’t understand boundaries and become too pushy. If a dog starts showing signs of uncomfort, a child may not notice that, and the result could be severe.

First, teach your kids how to properly play with pets. Nicely and gently.

Second, always watch interactions with your pet, the moment they start looking uncomfortable, remove the child and perhaps place your dog in a more controlled environment. That brings us to our next point… 

4. Crating

Crating is seriously one of the best ways to manage your dogs over the holidays. If you practice crate-training before the guests arrive they should be able to sit calmly and relax in their crate despite the commotion around them.

I know, I know. It seems horrible to stick your dog in a crate while everyone else is having fun. But trust me, it’s actually a better, safer environment for your pet. They can’t steal food, they won’t knock grandma over, and you don’t have to worry about them around children.

In fact, because dogs are natural “denning” animals, they prefer to have their own safe space to relax. Just make sure to practice it before all the massive ball of energy arrives. Again, a place like Partners Dog Training can help with that

5. Check your dog’s tags

Again, the holidays are a big time for escaped pups. With all the people coming and going, it’s very easy for your dog to slip out and run away. Again, this is where crating is good. However, it’s also a good time to make sure your dog is microchipped and that the tags are nice and secure.

6. Utilize Daycare/boarding

If you’re going away over the holidays, need a place to keep your dog while you run errands, or if you’re worried you can’t control your pup with guests around, please seek out a daycare or boarding facility to keep your pup (and guests) safe. However, keep in mind that great facilities like Partners Dog Training fill up INCREDIBLY fast this time of year. Either forcing you to go with a sub-par kennel or canceling plans. 

Of course, Daycares and trainers can also be a great place to leave your pup before the holiday rush, in order to give your dog the socialization and training they need to get through the madness.

Need some holiday help with your pup?

Schedule a call or call now at 480.595.6700.

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