The Christmas holidays are a great time to get together with family members, eat great food, and create memories that will last a lifetime. The holiday period gives most of us a little break in life and allows us a chance to relax and have some fun without our friends and family members.
If you have a pet, it is a good idea to keep them as involved as possible in all of your holiday festivities. Whether you found them from a reputable breeder on www.prideandprejudoodles.com, or they are a rescue, you want to give your pup the best Christmas possible. They are a part of your family now, and you want to do all that you can to ensure they are happy and loving life.
With that in mind, this article is going to take a closer look at how you can keep your dog happy over the Christmas holidays.
Maintain an Active Lifestyle
Almost all dogs enjoy getting outside and exercising/playing. As far as how much exercise a dog needs, it can vary a lot in terms of its size, breed, and age. Most dogs will benefit from at least 30 minutes to an hour of physical activity every single day. Some may require far more than that, however. This exercise keeps them happy, manages their weight, and ensures they can be calm and relaxed, and not be bouncing off the wall all day long.
While the weather might be frightful outside over Christmas, that doesn’t give you an excuse to short-change your dog in terms of how much exercise you give them. You need to continue to bundle up and go outside with them to give them enough exercise. This isn’t something you can simply stop doing when it gets chilly outside.
If you stop exercising them and don’t give them enough opportunities to play and burn off some energy, they will look to do it themselves (often in destructive ways that you won’t be fond of). Of course, be sure to keep each outdoor session relatively short, as not all dogs will handle the cold weather and snow very well.
In general, it is a good idea to stick to as many routines as possible. This includes when you feed them, when playtime is when they go outside, and more. Dogs thrive when they have a consistent routine, so don’t just completely change things once the holidays come around. If you do, the dog may become confused and may act out when things aren’t going normally.
Be Careful About Overfeeding
Most dogs would love nothing more than to just eat food all day every day. But while they might think eating an endless amount of food will make them happy, all it will do is lead to obesity and the many health concerns related to it.
While most of us will eat more than we’d like to admit throughout the holidays, we need to ensure our pups don’t follow suit. Many dogs are prone to overeating, and may not stop until the food is gone. As a result, continue to feed them as much as you normally would, and potentially even less if they aren’t quite getting as much activity as they do in the spring or summer.
When it comes to how much to feed your dog, that depends. Larger dogs and dogs that are older will generally need more food than dogs who are smaller or young. Be sure to look up the exact amount of food recommended for your dog’s size and breed, but many will fall somewhere between 1 and 4 cups every day.
Also, instead of free-feeding your dog, it’s a good idea to feed them twice a day, once in the morning around breakfast, and one in the early evening around dinner time. This will ensure they get enough nutrients but will make sure they don’t have a chance to overeat.
Give Them Some Gifts!
One of the biggest parts of the Christmas holidays is giving and receiving gifts to and from your loved ones. These gifts are a great way to show someone you care and appreciate them. In addition to getting gifts for the humans in your life, consider getting some for your dog, too.
This could be a new chew toy, a new bed, some delicious treats, some dog clothing, or anything in between. However, be sure to only give them their gifts when the dog is calm. New toys, treats, or even just wrapping paper can often make a dog very excitable.
If you give a dog a gift when they are barking, jumping, or begging, it can reinforce bad habits and give them the wrong idea that you appreciate those behaviors, which you almost certainly don’t.
Be Careful With the Noises
Christmas and the holiday season also bring a lot of noise into many households. There is a lot of commotion, a lot more people in your home than usual, and a lot of lights and new decorations all over the place.
While dogs are social and some don’t mind all the action, it can be overwhelming at times and the dog may want to get away. As a result, with a lot more going on around your home during Christmas, be sure to give your dog a space where they can go to relax and wind down.
This space could be in a spare room, in the basement, or even just a little fort you have created in the living room or your bedroom. The dog is sure to appreciate the ability to escape from the hustle and bustle of your busy house for a little.
These are some surefire ways to keep your dog happy and in the holiday spirit throughout the Christmas season. The last thing you want is a sad pup, so do all you can to keep their spirits high this holiday season.