Just as it is with us, having a routine is an important aspect of ensuring that our pets have a healthy and happy life. At times such as the Christmas holidays or any other festivities throughout the year we might be experiencing our own stress, but these changes in routine are just as likely to cause our pets anxiety.
You can limit the amount of stress and change that your animals are exposed to by preparing them for the holiday activities, this care can definitely make a difference to the whole household during the festive season and ensure that everyone including the pets have a Happy Christmas.
If you are going to be expecting a lot of visitors over the holiday period, especially ones that you dog might not be used to seeing, start working on their greeting manners so that they know what is expected when guests arrive, get a friend to assist by knocking on the door and then practice sit and stay. Teaching the basics to your dog will save him and you stress from constant correction. Ensure that you have a safe place for them to retreat to if they are not used to having lots of people around as this may help them avoid being overexcited or frightened, especially from the attention of lots of little hands from children which may cause them to snap.
Remember to reward your dog when it is being calm and well behaved around visitors so that he or she is well aware that this is the sort of behaviour you expect in this situation. Keep in mind that too many extra treats can cause a few extra pounds.
Your dog will still need exercise and food during the holiday season so it’s best to keep the times that you do this as close to your normal routine as possible, and if you get too busy because of your hosting duties, make sure there is someone else in the family that can talk the dog for its walk and organise feeds. Make it a family outing after that hearty Christmas dinner as the exercise will be good for you all as well as your pet.
One good thing to remember is make sure that your guests understand any rules you have for your dog, especially when it comes to treats and food as this will help reduce begging from them and could well avoid any unpleasantness for the dog with upset tummies or ticking off’s for something that you wouldn’t have normally allowed.
Of course we have a great range of products that can help with behavioural problems in pates at our website but most of all make sure that your animals are not ignored during all of the festivities and ensure that you all have a happy holidays.