The holidays are such a special time for family and friends. A time when everyone gets together to celebrate and have fun. We sit around visiting, laughing, eating and even playing games together.
When, we talk about our entire families getting together that also includes our dogs. Our dogs are a huge part of our family so ensure they are not left out.
Whether it is taking our dogs with us when we go or staying home to have everyone come to our house, we need to think about how that affects our dogs.
Christmas time with your dog can bring challenges and even create issues that you haven’t even thought of yet. Here are some tips of things that will help you maneuver through your Christmas holidays with a bit more ease.
Yes Christmas is supposed to be fun and joyous, and for most of the time it is. Every once in a while though, things can get a bit chaotic and even stressful. We all know what it is like to have a house full of people coming and going. Loud noises, kids running around and other dogs coming to the house are just a few of the realities of Christmas.
Whether you are hosting or going elsewhere, holiday seasons can bring on a ton of extra stress and chaos.
If you are feeling the stress, then be sure that your dog can be feeling the exact same way. Our dogs very easily pick up on the way we are feeling. Not to mention, just having that many people everywhere can cause your dog stress.
Make sure to keep an eye on how your dog is behaving and reacting, it is important. Try to have a quiet space for them to go, if it seems like it is getting too much for them to handle.
Something that will help your dog remain calm and less disrupted is to keep a dog bed close with their favourite toy near. Giving them a space to lay down, rest and even get a nap in, will help keep them from getting overtired. Just like having kids, if things are very disruptive for them then they can act out simply because they are revved up from all the energy in the room. Our dogs can react the very same way.
We all know that a little quiet time is helpful.
Keeping to the schedule
Our dogs rely on us to provide them with exercise, food, and water. They can’t get those things on their own.
Personally I have always kept my dogs on a regular schedule. Things always seem to flow better that way.
The trouble with being busy on the holidays is this sometimes that can mean our dogs schedule can get thrown off.
We need to make sure that we do our very best to try to stick to the same schedule we always do. I realize that this isn’t always possible, but we need to do our best. Routines are important and can really help cause any extra stress to our dogs.
Exercising your dog during the holidays is also a key way to keep your dog calm and content. Keep a normal schedule when you walk or exercise your dog, try to stay the course.
Depending on what your exercise schedule normally looks like, those activities should still happen. Maybe its getting up early before your guests or hosts even get up. An evening walk to clear both of your heads is also a fabulous idea. Include those daily walks like you always do.
Bringing families together in many cases means that there could be more then just your dog in the house. Taking our dogs with us for the holidays is very common.
For us, we always tried our best to bring both our dogs with us if we were traveling to see our family over the Christmas holidays. I never liked the idea of keeping them behind in a kennel or with a dog sitter. I realize that this isn’t always possible especially if you have to go a far distance.
Bringing our dogs with us for the holidays means there is more than likely another family member that also has a dog. This means that we will need our dog to interact with the other dog and co-exist in the same house together. Having well-behaved and socialized dogs makes this process so much easier.
Our boys always got along with any other dog that they were introduced to. I always loved how easy dogs can just all get along so well together and so quickly. It is even fun to see them interact a midst the chaos of everyone being put together.
When there is a situation where your dog and the other dog don’t exactly hit it off, then don’t force the issue. Let them slowly try to figure it out. Keeping them a bit apart if necessary is also a solution. Sometimes it just takes a bit for them to warm up to each other.
Do your best to try to keep it light and fun. Weather permitting you could also easily take them all for a walk together, of if you have a fenced off area, entertain a game of fetch and playing. More times then not when dogs run around together, it can brush away any issues that may have been present earlier. But as always, keeping close supervision on them is always a great idea.
While planning your holiday season, it is always a good idea to find out who is all going to be attending the holidays. Finding out if any of those people have serious issues with being around a dog is very important. There are some people that just aren’t big fans or aren’t dog friendly. Putting your dog in a situation that they have no control is not good for anyone.
I find it hard to understand personally, as I absolutely love all dogs, but in saying that, respecting other people’s opinion of dogs is important. We all want are dogs to be loved and treated well. By putting them in a negative situation, there is a possibility that something bad could happen to our beloved dog.
This really hasn’t been a big issue for us, but when I did encounter it, we were luckily in a position where we always had our own space where we were staying. With our own space, we could leave our dogs there for a short period where they could roam around, sleep and even just chill out.
I will say that in my opinion, I always let my family and people know that because our dogs were a part of our family, that an invitation for us meant and invitation for them as well. We were a package deal. I would rather skip going altogether then go if our dogs weren’t allowed. Family is family right!
The holiday season can be a wonderful time that gives us memories that we will have with us for a lifetime. Making sure those memories are happy and joyous is on us.
Planning the holidays happens weeks and even months ahead of time. Christmas time with your dog is supposed to be fun and inclusive. When, we are planning our holidays always remember that our dogs needs are important.
Let’s also not forget, that this is a fun time to do things like maybe take your dog to see Santa. Plenty of malls and pet stores bring in Santa clause for photos with your dog. Capturing their holiday experience is such a wonderful keep sake to have. Plus let’s be honest, dog photos with Santa are adorable.
Celebrate your holiday season with your family and of course your dog.