Christmas can be very stress full for everyone, as we are all busy during the holiday season with shopping, decorating, hosting guests, and Cooking the party food. As well this can also be stressful for your dog if he isn’t use to all the sudden changes during Christmas. These tips should help them cope with the new stress.
1. Plants, Presents and The Christmas tree.
Holly, Mistletoe and the Poinsettia is Poisonous to dogs and will make them vomit ( wont be a pretty sight ). If you are going to unwrap presents then we 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. For your Christmas tree, make sure you don’t put lights or ornaments on the bottom limbs as they can easily bite the wires, and can possibly eat the ornaments, which will cause digestion problems or a choking hazard. Tinsel is not good for them either it can cause a blockage in their intestines and don’t forget the needles on the tree weather its real or fake can actually put a hole in their intestines and is not digestible. as for presents under the tree, as we all know dogs have a great nose for sniffing out food. might be best to put up a barrier around the tree if your dog keeps going to it.
2. Cooking for the Party.
Cooked turkey and chicken bones should not be given to your dogs as they can easily break and cause choking, and bone shards can get stuck in your dog’s gums. Candy, cookies, cakes, peppermints—and especially chocolate—can trigger life-threatening illnesses in dogs. ( make sure you instruct your guests as well about table scraps!!)
3. A relaxed dog is a good dog.
Most dogs are excitable when guests arrive. Exercise your dog prior to the arrival of your guests. After 30 minutes of walking or playing, most dogs will be more relaxed or ready to take a nap. As a general rule, it’s best not to allow the family dog to greet unfamiliar guests. Commotion and unusual circumstances can cause stress for dogs. Give your dog a break in a quiet room with a familiar doggie bed or blanket. Allow your canine companion to join the festivities after the initial commotion of arrival has subsided. A suggestion would be “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.
4. Keep the liquids flowing!
When pets are stressed by unfamiliar circumstances, they typically pant more, so keep fresh water readily available for them to drink.
5. Preparing for the Food and Guests!
When it comes to the Sweet Smells of holiday food, sweets, and candies lying about the house, there are many temptations for your dog. You have to remind him or her that the rules, boundaries, and limitations are the same. Use the holiday as a chance to intensify good behavior instead of intensifying bad behavior. It’s up to you to take the opportunity to make it a great holiday by working on your skills! 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. 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. 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.
6. Let your dog check the weather!
Dogs don’t have the Weather Channel, so they don’t know why they are being denied a long walk for the day. Allow your dog to step outside and feel for itself that it is too cold or too stormy to go on a long walk. Instinctively, the dog will understand why it is coming back inside where it’s safe. While it might be convenient to put your dogs outside when guests arrive for holiday festivities, falling temperatures and snow can be dangerous to pets. In addition, never let your pet roam freely, as icy roads can make it hard for cars to stop if your dog wanders into the street. Also, some dogs, if out in the cold for too long, will develop thicker fur and maintain their fat as a natural protection, so they may not feel the cold as intensely as we do. However, please keep in mind that many short-haired breeds do not have this natural resistance to cold weather. You can buy doggie boots and gear made specifically for cold weather. There are also paw waxes that protect from the cold and aid your dog’s grip on slippery surfaces like ice or snow.
7. Be cautious when around the fireplace and candles!
Animals are instinctual about fire; it is natural for an animal to stay away. However, during this holiday season, many owners like to dress their dogs up. Never use a product which may contain alcohol, such as hairspray, silly string, or entertainment paint, on a dog that will be around fire. Always be cautious near a fire with an animal that is wearing clothing. A stray piece of fabric can quickly cause the entire outfit to light on fire. A screen is a good way to keep a “done-up” pup safe. Also, never leave an animal alone in a room with a lit candle. As a general holiday precaution, test your smoke alarms, and keep them clean and equipped with fresh batteries at all times!
8. Do not give pets as surprise gifts!
A cute and cuddly puppy might seem the perfect gift choice, but many of these holiday presents end up at animal shelters. A dog takes a real commitment of time, and adoptive owners must be ready to participate in training and managing the responsibility of their new family member. If you know someone who’s serious about adopting a dog, consider giving a leash, collar, or other pet related items, along with a note saying a dog of the recipient’s choice comes with it. This will help ensure the lucky person receives the dog he or she wants to have as part of the family.
9. Add your pet to your gift list!
Help your dogs stay occupied and out of the holiday decorations by giving them their own gifts. The Buster Cube™ or a Kong™, for instance, are both nearly indestructible and will distract your dog for long periods of time.
10.Live in the moment! Be happy! Laugh! Celebrate! ( from Cesar Millan)
Want to do something special for your dog for the holidays? Be balanced. Don’t be nervous. Don’t be fearful. Don’t be tense. Don’t think about anything that makes you sad, depressed, or angry. Really live in that moment. Believe it or not, that is one of the biggest gifts we can give to our dog–and ourselves! Everyone, rich or poor, can practice this simple activity. It has more meaning than any gift you can buy.
Live in the now, with your dog right next to you and your family around you. Your dog is going to get the benefit of it, particularly if you don’t have days like this on a regular basis. This special day will linger in his or her memory, and, hopefully, you can learn to practice these days more often, not just during the holiday season.