Here we are again—the beginning of the holiday season, and since so much of the holidays revolve around gifts, do you know the best gift you can give to your dog? What do you think, a tasty reward like steak or a bone, or maybe a favorite toy? Do not forget that the important word is “gift.” Dog bones and toys are rewards and a form of affection for dogs. Rewards need to be earned. If you give your dog nothing but unearned rewards, then you may create behavioral problems.
Your dog will most appreciate calmness and consistency, especially at this time of year when everything can go a little crazy with holiday planning and with the holidays themselves. It can be chaotic from a dog’s perspective. Schedules change, there may be a lot of people coming and going, or the whole family may go to a strange place. All of these can make a dog anxious, confused, create a lot of tension, and your dog feeling really out of sorts. Because they live in the moment, dogs do not plan for the future. As far as they are concerned, something that changes now is forever and permanent.
Remember that, to dogs, energy is everything, and the way that you act is the way they are going to react. As you prepare for the holidays, do not forget that your dog still needs exercise and discipline before affection, which is why it is even more important to stick to that schedule this time of year. It will drain excess energy from your dog and help maintain a sense of things being normal despite the chaos all around. Your dog will appreciate that part most of all!
Things you can do to keep our dog calm and happy during the holidays:
Purchase Appropriate Supplies: Stock up on all the items your dog is going to need. With a huge holiday to-do list, it is easy to forget your dog has a shopping list, too.
Stick to Routine: When the big day arrives, try to stick to your dog’s usual routine as much as possible, including mealtimes, potty breaks, and exercise. The predictability will help your dog feel less overwhelmed.
Exercise: Exercise is particularly important right before visitors arrive or before meals. It will burn off your dog’s excess energy, which might be more than usual with all the activity going on around them. A tired dog is more likely to nap than bother your guests. If you can’t provide physical exercise, definitely get your dog’s brain working. Mentally stimulating games can be just as tiring.
From our “Kids” to yours, Happy Holidays!
Rover’s Kids want to remind you that they will be in the Fashion Show at the morning coffee on Nov. 2 and their adoption event on Nov. 12. Watch for information on the garage sale, too! Need pet sitting for the holidays? Call 480-600-2828. Hug those necks!