Holidays are a fun time for humans and pups alike, with so many activities, family gatherings, and of course: parties!
If your pup is already considered a "furry friend," you probably know that he or she isn't just an animal, but also a member of the family. To keep them in good spirits this holiday season we've collected some tips on how to prepare for the holidays while taking care of your pup's needs too. After all, there's nothing more important than making sure Fido feels loved through it all! Pup parents love their puppies like babies which is why they always look to care for them the best way possible. So, here are 12 ways to make your pup happy for the holidays.
1. Don't Skip Out On The Fun!
Of course, you shouldn't let holiday activities pass you by just because your furry friend can't join in. You should both be able to enjoy the festivities equally, which means that it's up to you to plan things out properly so that Fido doesn't feel too left out! This may take a bit more time on your end but it will all be worth it when everyone starts having fun together once day one finally arrives.
2. Have Your Own Holiday Tradition
After all, the guests have left and you find yourself being a bit bored at home, remind yourself to not get too down in the dumps. Instead of sleeping it off, why not cuddle up with your pup and start a fun holiday tradition together? For example, you can prepare his favorite food, decorate doggie biscuits every year or even play some games that will have Fido jumping for joy! This way, no one's going to regret missing out on all the excitement afterward :)
3. Keep His Regular Routine As Much As Possible
This is especially important on holidays when many changes are bound to occur for your pup.
Do not let him sleep elsewhere than in his own bed, do not give him food or water at different times of the day, and keep him on a regular potty schedule. As your pet gets older, it can get even harder to make the tummy feel good during changes between seasons.
It's important not to let your dog or cat become stressed during change. The more stress he feels, the higher the chance he will be sick on big holidays like Halloween, Christmas, or Easter! We know how our pets are always there for us and we want to do everything in our power that they also enjoy their time with us without having to worry about being thrown into a kennel because of vacations!
This brings me to my next point …
4. Car Trips Are Out!
If you have to travel somewhere by car where your pup has no choice but to be in his carrier, try playing some soft music or reading a book to him. Calmly explain that this is just temporary and you will soon be able to get out of the carrier and stretch your legs.
The same goes for putting your dog in the kennel at night or when you go to work: try getting him used to it gradually by using positive reinforcement with small pieces of his favorite food! Introduce the kennel slowly and make sure he sleeps where there are no creaking sounds (such as people walking over the floor above) and has enough room for lying down comfortably.
5. Start Planning Early!
Prepare everything in advance – think about what you want to give your dog, how long the visits from the family will take if any other animals need extra attention or have to be locked away from your pup.
Again, go slowly with transitioning from the house being quiet and empty to being full of people and a lot of activity. Keep a routine by feeding your dog according to his usual meal schedule, even if he has gotten used to eating in the morning or at night during holidays in previous years. If you can avoid it, do not give him any extra treats that day.
6. Give Your Pup Something Special On The Holiday!
A new toy is always fun for dogs – but make sure he doesn't get too excited about opening up another present on Christmas morning when there are already presents all over the living room floor or worse … underneath them! Also, keep an eye out for objects that are small enough to be swallowed or chewed by your pet.
7. Make Sure Other Animals Are Getting Attention Too!
If you have a partner who doesn't celebrate the holiday, keep him company by playing with his favorite toys or giving him extra love and cuddles. It's also good for all pets to get used gradually to being around each other during the holidays so there are no surprises when they first meet face-to-face under the Christmas tree after months of only seeing each other on video chat!
8. Watch Out For Heatstroke
Heatstroke is dangerous for dogs because they do not sweat through their skin to cool themselves down as humans do.
Make sure your pup has access to fresh water at all times wherever he is, including inside the house if it's warm outside. Also make sure he can leave the festivities anytime he wants by having a safe place for him to rest indoors, or keep him leashed so you can quickly get him outside if he seems tired.
9. Be Aware Of Other Dangers…
Dogs love parties just as much as we do – but there are also dangers for them around every corner when there are lots of people coming in and out of the house all day long. Stairs might not be the safest place for him to be … make sure there are no rambunctious kids or drunken adults around!
Also, make sure you have picked up all wrappings and garbage before letting your pet roam free on the floor. Tinsel is a great way to decorate, but it's also something that could cause serious internal problems if swallowed!
10. Make Time For Cuddling!
Dogs love us unconditionally – let's show them how much we love them back by spending some quality time with them during their holidays too. Get your pup involved in some of the family activities without having him sit at home alone while everyone else is out shopping or ice-skating! Bring his favorite toys along so he can distract himself with them while you're busy. And of course, take some nice long walks throughout the holidays to get rid of all the extra energy he might have after being cooped up in your house for so long.
11.… And Make Sure They Get Proper Exercise!
Seriously though, it's not just dangerous to leave your dog home alone on the holidays if everyone else is outside skating or having fun on x-mas eve. He will also be all by his onesie waiting for you to come back when you eventually do (or more likely, someone else who doesn't even know him) and will also be more than happy to play with you when you finally come home again.
Make sure your pooch gets enough outdoor time throughout the entire year. This way, if he is left alone on the holidays or for extended periods of time, he will be perfectly content to just relax in his special place while you are gone!
12. Get Some Rest!
Dogs don't know it's x-mas eve and can't tell what day it is by looking out the window – that means they also won't realize that you just had a really long day at work or went to bed late last night … so let him sleep with you. A pooch snuggled up against your feet under the covers might just be one of the best gifts you'll get on x-mas morning!