1. KEEP YOUR DOG PROTECTED FROM THE COLD
Many breeds are not built to handle cold weather. Make sure your dog has a comfortable and warm place to hang out. Some dogs might need sweaters and doggie boots to go on their walks. Bring your dog into The Dog House Boutique for custom solutions for him or her.
2. BE AWARE OF DANGEROUS HOLIDAY ITEMS
The popular poinsettia plant causes dogs to vomit. Chocolate is a poisonous treat. And tinsel has sent many a dog to the emergency room, as it can easily cut up intestines. Paper-based tinsel is generally a safer option, but the plastic or metallic-based varieties should not be used.
3. PROTECT YOUR PRESENTS AND DECORATIONS
Remember that a dog will know if a gift contains something edible, even if you don’t. Ask your guests in advance if there is food inside the presents, and keep them out of your dog’s reach! Keep fragile ornaments toward the top of the Christmas tree; only place sturdy ones near the bottom. Often people use a pen to keep dogs away from their tree. Keep it fun by decorating the pen with ribbons. And, above all, set rules, boundaries, and limitations! The holidays are a time when things get put out that are not normally out so be cautious about what your dog can access.
4. A PUPPY IS PROBABLY NOT THE BEST GIFT
Everybody loves puppies but giving one as a gift without thoughtful research and conversation with the recipient is a mistake many people make this time of year. A puppy is a new family member and therefore a lifetime responsibility that not everyone is up for. If bringing a puppy into your own home for you and your family, it is still advised that you do ample research and visit dogs before bringing them into your household. Make it a family decision that everyone is happy about. And, as always, strongly consider using one of the many dog rescue organizations. A dog is a great gift to give yourself.
5. TIRE YOUR DOG OUT BEFORE GUESTS COME OVER
Keep in mind that holiday visits are not typical visits. They may involve more heightened energy than normal, since often we haven’t seen these people in a while, and dog people have a tendency to get excited around others’ pets. Your dog is more likely to behave if it’s just had a nice long walk. If they’re not dog people, your guest may be nervous, insecure, and unsure; a tired dog can help these people relax.
Your dog loves you and the holidays can be stressful for all of us. Take the time to squeeze your dog friend and you’ll be quickly reminded that love is what the holidays are all about.