Yes it’s that time of year.
Decorating for the house, hours of holiday shopping, wrapping presents, posing for Shutterfly pictures, parties, baking cookies and the list goes on and on.
A bit stressful, yes. But how does your pup feel? Remember we have calendars and we choose this (begrudgingly or not).
So what does it look like from a canine point of view?
Out of nowhere everyone is acting certifiably nuts!
His perfectly comfortable living room with a bed, toys, and more toys has now been taken over by an oversized tree with flashing lights and jingly things. All of which he is not allowed to touch. In addition to the tree the house is filled with new smells, none of which smell like bacon.
Holiday shopping means you are at the mall buying things while he waits at home for his now much shortened walk. (Deep sigh).
If you shopped online he got to go for that walk but now has to deal with the barrage of UPS, FedEx, USPS and Amazon deliveries. None of his attempts to notify the intruders they are trespassing seem to work. (Grrrr)
Wrapping Presents. Awww he says something I can do too. Woof Hoo! Until the shreddable paper and the tugable ribbon comes out and he gets put outside in the back yard to watch from afar. (Really?!?)
Photo Shoots!!! Yes, finally he’ll get to participate provided he wears some outfit he has never seen before and sits nicely for some stranger behind a camera or a phone. Aren’t cell phones supposed to be for talking? And what’s with the flash? Please say it’s not the Fourth of July again! (Ahhhh)
Lastly, the great cookie bake!! Maybe just maybe his people will act normal now. I Mean, Clearly we have been doing this all year. All goes well until the pup steals a cookie from the tray on the counter waiting for sprinkles. The family screeches and once again pups in the backyard. ( Bah Humbug!)
Maybe it’s not all this bad but there is a lot of stress on your dog.
So what can we do to ensure Pup has a Merry Pre Holiday Season?
- Set up holiday decorations in a neutral area maybe in between rooms where life and traffic are quieter
- Make sure the tree has baby gates or fencing to protect it from pup and pup from the tree crashing down on him.
- If you are burning non bacon smelling candles or any candles at all be sure to keep them out of pups reach. Maybe place them up high on a mantle and put them on at the end of the day.
- Shopping ot no shopping he needs his daily adventures. Somehow make sure he gets his enrichment walk. If necessary sign up for an extra day of Doggy Daycare if you are doing this already. Do not start this now if you are not already. It can actually add to the stress. If you have a good dog walker that can focus on him and not a “pack” of dogs, maybe hire them for extra walks or longer walks.
- Delivery people are scary enough in a slow season, let alone the holidays. If you can put your dog and all his wonderful stuff in the rooms that don’t deal with the intruders it would be great. If not, pull the shades down or put privacy sheets on your windows to minimize the visual assault of the invaders.
- If you insist on wrapping presents, stuff a kong or get a really yummy marrow bone and get your pup excited about it first before you bring out the paper, bags and ribbon. Note: cardboard dowels from the wrapping and the ribbon are perfect for a good low piece chew.
- Photo Shoots can be lots of fun for pup. Avoid the costumes and bring his favorite toys and treats. Take some action shots first and let him get tired out. You will most likely get that excruciating 1 minute sit stay with him looking at everyone with the love he really does feel.
- Cookie bake. Why not start with baking cookies for pup and hiding them under the furniture and wrapped in tea towels and let him have a blast. When he is tired let him go to bed while you bake up a storm for Santa!
- Lastly, play more tug, more fetch, more hide and seek, more find it, more practice with tricks, more cuddle time and more quiet time so he decides that maybe after all it is THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY.