Christmas can be a very hectic time for everyone as we are all busy during the holiday season with decorating, shopping, food preparation and hosting guests. But this time can also be stressful for our dog if he isn’t prepared to deal with the sudden changes during Christmas.
In this article, I will give you 10 tips that you should do in preparation for a happy dog Christmas.
1. If you are going to have guests over to your home at Christmas Day, it is important to give your dog plenty of exercise before your guests arrive. Take your dog for a long walk an hour or two before your guests begin to arrive. This will relief lots of excess energy I will make your dog calmer and more enjoyable for your guests.
2. If you are going to let your guests give your dog a treat, then it is important to tell them that they must sit your dog before giving him the treat. If your dog can perform tricks, then it is a great opportunity to showcase his skills and at the same time be very entertaining. Getting your dog to obey before giving him the treat will reinforce the hierarchy with your guests.
3. I recommend that you give your dog his meal / dinner before you begin your serving your guests their dinner. The reason is that if your dog is fully satisfied then he is less likely to bother your guests. You may want to give your dog a special dinner to make sure that he eats it completely. Perhaps a mix of dry kibble with a can of wet dog food would persuade him to eat it all and would give him a great dog Christmas present.
4. Tell your guests to never give your dog any table scraps. Although this seems like a no-brainer you would be surprised on the amount of people that would drop something and wouldn’t think there is any problems letting your dog eat it.
5. Depending on how many guests you are expecting at Christmas, it may be favorable to ask one of your family members to entertain your dog in another room until all your guests have arrived. I wouldn’t recommend locking up your dog if he isn’t used to it, but strangers walking in to your home may be a little overwhelming to your dog.
6. If you are going to unwrap presents then I recommend that you do not let your dog play with any of the wrapping paper. That is because it could potentially cut them while they play with it or they could eat it which may cause digestion problems. The last thing that you want to do on Christmas is having to go to an emergency pet hospital because your dog ate something he wasn’t supposed to.
7. Give your dog something to do while your guests are in your home. You can take a Kong and stuff it with peanut butter or pieces of cheese and it will take him a while to get all of the goodies out. There are also those new “intelligent” dog toys that require dogs to solve puzzles before they can get to the treat. I don’t know the specific name of these toys but I’m sure if you Google it that you will find what you are looking for. Perhaps you could purchase this “intelligent” toy ahead of time which would be a great dog Christmas present!
8. If there are children coming to your home make sure that you tell them not to chase the dog. A dog will bite a child if he feels threatened or afraid, especially if a child is chasing him. It is important to supervise children and to make sure that they are treating your dog properly.
9. Prepare a quiet room or move your dog’s crate into a quiet room so that if your guests are too loud for your dog, then he will have a quiet environment to go to.
10. If your dog loves to play then make sure that you instruct your guests on how to play nicely with your dog. Sometimes guests have a little alcohol in their system and they can get carried away by throwing toys too high or down stairs which could potentially injure your dog.
To have a merry dog Christmas, all that is needed is a little common sense and some planning ahead of time. If you have any more tips, please leave a comment below…