When it comes to having fun in the festive season, sharing the experience with your pet is a big positive! The merriment and magic can be something for your both to enjoy, it’s just about striking a balance. After all, Christmas is a time which may be associated with loud noises, bright lights and lots of busyness – not necessarily factors that are the most relaxing for dogs. However, if you consider the possible obstacles in advance and take steps to address them, you can ensure fun for all:
A dog’s dinner – a big barrier many dog owners face is the feeding of their pet around Christmas time. After all, there seems to be so much food around, that dogs can quickly fall into bad eating habits or even start begging whilst other people are eating. The key to address this is to provide your pet with regular meals no different from their normal routine, as well as including a few festive treats too. Make sure these are ‘dog friendly’ – there are some great options even available at the supermarket.
Keeping calm – the intensity of Christmas-time can seem overwhelming to some dogs. That is why it is important to ensure that they have a ‘safe space’ to relax in and avoid crowds. A small downstairs room is ideal, and going out for regular walks can help address the issue too
Part of the family – Christmas is often a period which focuses on spending ‘family time’ together; so be sure to include your dog too, in a way that is most convenient. Perhaps you are all sitting watching a film? Allow the dog to sit on the floor too. It doesn’t have to be a dog-based activity; what matters is encouraging your pet to participate in the family environment, which is important for developing healthy behavioural patterns.
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