When it comes to the holidays, there can be a lot to juggle. From finding time to walk your dog to worry about your dog digging into gifts, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. When you add your pup parent responsibilities into the rest of your holiday to-do list, it can be difficult to decide how to prioritize your dog’s needs and playing Santa or host. But don’t worry. Before the howlidays get any nearer, we wanted to share our top tips for the best holiday season with your family and four-legged friend.
1. Keep Food and Candy Out of Paw’s Reach
Dogs have the magical ability to sniff out treats even if they’re not meant for them. If you plan on wrapping up chocolates or other candies, do not put them under the tree until the morning they’ll be opened. Chocolate and xylitol are both toxic and deadly for dogs. And the last thing you want is to search for a vet that is open during the holidays. Never heard of xylitol? It’s a sugar substitute, often called “sugar alcohol,” used in vitamin gummies, sugar-free gum, and some desserts.
While it’s easy to keep your pup from diving into the candy bowl, it can be a little trickier to keep guests from giving handouts to your beloved pup. Keeping bowls of treats nearby can encourage healthy handouts, and always let guests know what your rules on when it comes to your dog sharing in the holiday feast.
2. Be Sure Santa Paws Brings Your Pup Something to Unwrap
With the excitement of gifts, glee, and laughter your dog will want to partake in the holiday festivities, too. Let your pup feel like he’s a part of the fun and family with some thoughtful presents.
Consider giving your dog the gift of safety and visibility with a new Safety Reflective Vest. Extend the excitement of Christmas morning with a multipack of plushes or a multi-pack of rope toys that will last and last.
3. Bone-Voyage! Gift Your Dog with a Staycation
If you’re planning to travel, consider keeping your pet at a boarding facility or with a pet sitter. While some pets love to travel, many find the stress of being out of their routine hard to handle. Additionally, when your dog is in safe hands and having a blast, you can fully enjoy your holiday with friends and families without having to worry about walks.
4. Create a Holiday Hideaway for your Dog
If you’re hosting a holiday party or dinner, keep your canine companion calmer by creating a rest spot for him to escape the crowd and relax a bit. This is especially important for dogs that struggle with anxiety or are generally nervous. If you notice your dog pacing, panting, or trying to find a spot to lie down, he’s indicating that he’s tired and ready to relax in his holiday paradise.
To create a holiday hideaway in your home this year:
- Place your dog’s bed in the room and add extra blankets
- Don’t forget a few treats and your dog’s comfort items like his favorite toys
- Play soft, calming music (you can find soundtracks specifically for dogs on YouTube).
- Close the blinds and dim the lights
- Serve your dog’s dinner in the room
- Check on him a few times through the evening
- Post a sign on the door letting guests know your pup is resting inside
5. Don’t Stray Too Far from Your Routine
Dogs thrive on structure and knowing what to expect. Try to keep your pup’s routine as close to normal as possible around the holidays, especially his mealtimes and walks. You may want to hire a dog walker to help keep up with your dog’s exercise needs during the holiday season. Just remember to keep your pup safe during winter walks with a reflective vest.
We know what your dog is a part of the family, just be sure you keep your pup’s needs in mind and provide your pup with fun, love, and attention during this busy time of year. We hope your holiday season is filled with treats, toys, gifts, and dog kisses.