‘Tis the season to be jolly! With Christmas right around the corner, we can bet all your preparations are underway. From the decor to the tree, the lights, and the food, Christmas is the festival of constant activity and cheer. As much as 92% of the American population celebrates the festival annually. This makes it a much enjoyed holiday in the latter half of the year.
The holiday season is also the right time to reconnect with family and friends. If you have decided to invite guests over to celebrate Christmas with you, it is necessary to ensure you have made the right preparations.
These preparations could be as simple as adding a touch of festive cheer to your bedrooms, or ensuring that your pets are well-trained to handle new introductions.
If you are a pet parent to a pup, the holiday season is just as exciting to them as it is to you! With the constant bustle of activity, your pup may soon begin recognizing that an exciting event is approaching. However, if you have guests coming over, there is a need to ensure that your pup is prepared to interact with unfamiliar people and faces.
Discover the best tips for preparing your pup for the holiday season below!
Preparing Your Pup for the Holiday Season
While a significant percentage of people believe dogs to be friendly, this is not necessarily always the case. There could be times when a pup may be wary of strangers or may get nervous and anxious when introduced to new people.
Prepare your pup safely this holiday season with the following tips:
Find a Safe Place for Your Christmas Tree
The first important step you need to take is ensuring your Christmas tree is in a safe and secure place. This should ideally be a corner that can be easily secured with a child’s gate. Keep in mind that your pup may be curious and could jump on the tree. Consider adding bells to the bottom branches of the tree that can warn you when it is being moved.
It is also important to keep an eye on the pine needles of the tree and tend to them regularly. When ingested, pine needles can be harmful to your pet.
The holiday season is a season of hustle and bustle, so ensuring you are well stocked on all pet items is key. Do your shopping well before the crowd turns up and purchase all necessary food and treats. These will come in handy when rewarding good behavior.
You can even consider purchasing food-dispensing and interactive toys that can keep your pup occupied if your attention is elsewhere. If you think you may need an exercise pen or baby gates, ensure that these are installed well in advance and before your guests turn up.
Take your pup on a long and energetic walk before your guests arrive. This can be a great way to expend their mental and physical energy, allowing them to remain calm when introduced to unfamiliar faces.
Make sure that your pets have relieved themselves, and are well-exercised and fed before any unfamiliar interactions. This can significantly curb excess energy, anxiety, and stress, and can allow your pup to calmly register the new scents and faces.
Brush-Up on Obedience Training
The holiday season is one that requires your pet to be on its best behavior. You may be too busy to brush up on obedience training with guests, so ensure that this is done beforehand. Holistic dog training is one of the best methods to regulate behavior changes in pups!
Brush up on the basic commands such as “sit”, “stay” and “down”. These commands can help you monitor and regulate an introduction with an unknown person. Commands like these can be used when at the table, to avoid pets from consuming toxic food such as avocados and pecans.
Include training on keywords such as “leave” and “go to your place”. This can help you prevent any significant problems from occurring by controlling the situation.
Ensure Your Home is Thoroughly Puppy-Proofed
The best way to ensure a safe and smooth festival is by making sure that your home is thoroughly puppy-proofed. This includes everything from food to plants, to decorations.
Do not leave hanging ornaments within your pup’s reach. Decking your halls with holly and mistletoe is a great way to bring festive cheer into your home. However, these are highly toxic to your pup. Be very careful of where you place your plants and decorations.
Consider keeping them as high as possible, where they are out of the reach of your pup.
Introducing Your Pup to Your Guests
The above tips are a great way to prepare your pup for the holiday season. However, it is also necessary for you to facilitate a safe and smooth introduction with unknown people. You could even consider a pet Reiki session to promote physical and emotional wellbeing before the holiday season.
Here are some steps to safely introducing your pup to your guests:
- Keep an eye on your puppy’s body language. Their tail, eyes, and ears can help you understand what they feel.
- Ask your guest to first ignore your pup, as too much attention can be overwhelming. Allow your pup to decide if they want to be introduced to someone.
- If your pup decides to interact with someone, give that person a handful of treats that can be used to reinforce positive behavior and interactions.
- Ask your guests to dress in comfortable clothes that they don’t mind getting dirty.
- Set specific ground rules with your guest. These include not feeding your pup table scraps, not forcing the interaction, and giving them attention only when they are calm.
- Interactions with children may be difficult. It is, therefore, necessary to establish a set of rules to ensure a safe and comfortable introduction to younger guests.
- Consider having a member of your family involved in the introductions; an extra pair of eyes and hands can always come in handy.
The holiday season is one of the most enjoyed seasons of the year. Keeping the above tips in mind can help you ensure your pet is safe and comfortable during this time. Make sure you are well-stocked for all of your pup’s needs and have brushed up on basic obedience commands.
Be patient and learn to keep an eye on your puppy’s body language. Knowing your pet’s needs and requirements will help you enjoy festivities for years to come!
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