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Supporting Your Dog Through the Winter Holiday Festivities

Dog Under Christmas Tree
Toller Retriever Under.a Christmas

The holiday season is an exciting time for all of us, but at times, it can be especially overwhelming for our furry friends. With all the increased activity, decorations, and extra food lying around, it's no wonder pups can feel stressed. ingest dangerous items, or get into trouble during this time of year. However, there are steps we can take as responsible pet owners to ensure our dogs feel safe, secure, and happy during the holiday festivities. In this post, we will explore practical ways to support your dog during this busy season.

Prepare your dog ahead of time. If you know you're having guests over or you're heading out to a party, take some time to prepare your dog. And by prepare, we don't mean practice sitting at the door nicely the day, night or even week before. True fluency of a behavior takes weeks and even months time. Set your dog up for success. If they are not ready to handle greetings with easy, then find an alternative to greeting guests.

Make sure they have adequate exercise beforehand company arrives, to help them feel calm and relaxed. Also, create a designated safe space for them in a quiet room, away from all the noise and activity. You can also introduce your dog to the gates or barriers that you'll use to keep them safe during the festivities. This will help them adjust to the new routine and feel comfortable in their space.

Watch out for holiday hazards. When it comes to decorations and food, there are plenty of potential hazards for your dog. For example, tinsel, ribbons, and gift wrap can be dangerous if ingested. Similarly, holiday plants like mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias are toxic to dogs. And while it can be tempting to share your holiday meal with your furry friend, it's important to avoid giving them table scraps that may be harmful to their health. Make sure to keep all decorations and food items out of reach of your dog and inform your guests to do the same.

Stick to your dog's routine. Dogs thrive on routine, so it's essential to keep as much of their usual routine intact as possible during the holidays. Try to maintain their regular feeding and exercise schedule, as well as their nightly routine for bedtime. This will help them feel secure and grounded.

Provide extra attention and affection. With all the changes going on, it's important to give your dog some extra love and attention. Take them on a long walk, play their favorite game, or give them a cuddle session. These little acts of love will make all the difference in helping your dog feel comforted and supported.

Give them a quiet space to retreat. No matter how much preparation you do, some dogs can still become overwhelmed by all the activity. In this case, it's helpful to give them a quiet space to retreat to when they need some time alone. Raise their crate or bed onto a comfortable platform away from the activity, provide some soft blankets and a few toys, and leave them to rest in peace. Don't force them to socialize or interact if they don't want to, let them come to you when they're ready.

The holiday season can be a wonderful, joyful time for humans and our canine companions alike. However, it's essential to keep our dogs' welfare in mind and ensure they are happy, healthy, and safe throughout all the hustle and bustle. By following these practical tips, you can provide the support your dog needs to have a happy enjoyable time, during the winter holiday festivities. Remember, your furry friend is a part of your family, so give them the love and care they deserve!

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