Here is my lovely lot doing their best Christmas poses !!
Although Christmas will be a quieter affair all round this year there are still some things to bear in mind to keep your dog/s happy and relaxed on the big day !
Some dog's aren't to sure of visitors and some are the life and soul of the party ...either way make sure your dog has somewhere quiet to go if it all becomes too much....either a comfy bed upstairs or a crate in a quiet spot. Look out for signs of over excitement and stress..these can include ...
Inability to settle
Panting (exaggerated, tense panting)
Displacement behaviours such as scratching, sniffing
Yawning (exaggerated tense yawns)
If your dog is nervous it is much kinder to put him in a quiet place away from well meaning visitors. Make sure you check up on him and allow him out for a toilet, give him a long lasting kong, licky mat or some enrichment to enjoy whilst you are busy with the guests. He will be much happier coming out when things have quietened down.
Supervise your dog with visitors they don't know and any children, especially if they are not used to them and make sure they are not being overwhelmed, teased or chased about.
If your dog is super sociable again keep an eye out for signs of stress or over excitement. It is better to allow your dog short spans in with the festivities and lots of time outs with some de -escalating enrichment to keep him under threshold.
Make sure you don't over indulge your dog with treats, better to add a little leftover dinner to his bowl at his mealtime. Avoid chews made from rawhide as they are really unhealthy and can cause real issues with dogs.
All dogs will enjoy the traditional post Christmas dinner walk ! This is a great time for any children, family members to engage with him !
As long as you manage your dog's environment through this busy time and are aware that, for him, it an be a little overwhelming and you have strategies in place to keep the balance for him between being involved and having some space then your dog will enjoy the festivities and extra attention