Holiday Tips For Dog Owners

Tips to help with your dogs’ behavior

Many undesired behaviors can be prevented with physical and mental exercise.  Before your big event take your dog on a brisk 20-minute walk.  When you return home practice 10 – 15 minutes of basic behaviors such as ‘stay’.  For continued mental stimulation you can give your dog an interactive toy such as a kong or a puzzle toy to keep them engaged.


Crate training and training ‘spot’ can help prevent problem behaviors such as jumping on guests and begging at the dinner table.  Keep in mind your dog can feel and see the energy and excitement of the holidays as well.  Set them up for success by giving them a safe place to call their own such as their crate.  Once your guests have arrived and your doghas calmed down you can bring your dog out to enjoy the festivities.  If you know your dog likes to jump, keep them on a leash to prevent them from jumping until they have calmed down.

Even though it is the holidays STAY CONSISTENT with your dogs’ routine and continue to set and reinforce boundaries.  Remember dogs are opportunistic, they seek out what they feel is best for them.  If you are consistent with setting boundaries it is less likely that your dog will test their limits.

 Tips to help with your dogs safety

Remember to never give your dog cooked bones.  Cooked bones are dry and they can splinter.   Do not give your dog lots of table scraps as they can be high in fat and harder for your dog to digest.

There are many traditional decorations that can be poisonous to your dog.   Things to keep away from your dog include: poinsettia’s, holly, mistle-toe and chocolate.  These can cause upset stomachs and even death.  Dogs can respond differently to ingesting objects.  If you have questions contact your veterinarian or the National Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435

Set your dog up for success by protecting your presents and your tree.  Place non-breakable ornaments on the lower half of the tree.  You can utilize an exercise pen to block of the tree and presents if your dog is very mischievous.  Also, do not allow your dog to drink from the Christmas Tree stand water.

Gift ideas for your dog

Purchase a gift certificate for training.  The extra time spent with your dog, the mental stimulation, and the new behaviors learned will last a life time!

Interactive toys, dog toys have jumped to a whole new level in recent years.  For the longest time the Kong was the only toy on the market to provide mental stimulation and fun for your dog.  Now, there are many interactive toys to choose from.  Not only will your dog enjoy the toys but it will help stimulate their mind and keep them out of trouble.

IMG_6792Most importantly, do not give a pet as a gift unless it has been thoroughly discussed with the receiving party.  Better yet, allow the person that is going to receive the pet to be the one to choose the pet.  Not having the time or resources to care for a dog is one of the top reason’s for dogs to be in animal shelters.  Also, giving a pet around the holiday season can be more stressful for both the pet and the new owner.  Schedules are off, routines are broken, and the house may be full of things to get into.  Wait until after the holidays when things have calmed down.