Festive Christmas with family and dogs, a few tips!
The Festive period is upon us again and what an amazing time of year to be with your family and your dog who is obviously part of your family. Just like bonfire night it is a good idea to start planning now for your dog, for example your dog may be nervous when visitors arrive and go over their threshold. So, what can we do as guardians to help our dogs to be calm in situations that could be overwhelming? We all know that when we have friends or family coming over, someone in the family will get your dog over excited and they will say things like “we don’t mind” as your dog is bouncing off the walls. So, if you have been practising dog training with your dog to be calm when visitors arrive this will not be in your dog’s best interest. It is time for you to intervene and remove your dog from this situation so that your dog can calm down. I would have some enrichment food puzzles ready for your dog in these situations, such as a stuffed Kong or a snuffle scent mat. Prepare your freezer with frozen enrichment food puzzles so, that it lasts longer for your dog. Start getting your dog used to spending some time on their own, whether that be on their own bed, in their crate if they are used to going in a crate and happy to settle and chill. Practice calming exercises leading up to Christmas, (I have a blog on our website called settling exercise) for example if your dog takes themselves off to their bed drop a few treats into their bed, every time your dog practices this behaviour reinforce it with a treat, your dog soon learns that this is a good place to be.
We all know at this time of year, some dogs can end up in the vets because they have had food that is toxic to them, or they had too much left over Christmas dinner or dog stocking treats. Your dog may have counter surfed all the foods your dog would not normally get, and this can lead to your dog becoming sick. Make sure that your food is not in reach so that your dog cannot have access to it. Try and stick to your dog’s normal diet over the Christmas period and if you are going to give them treats give them natural ingredient treats only, let us not spend time at the vets. It is a clever idea to have in supplements for diarrhoea. Use a probiotic that contains prebiotics that probiotics (the beneficial bacteria in the gut) use for energy and bentonite clay. Bentonite clay mops up intestinal toxins so it is good for poisoning, and it absorbs water, so it is also good for diarrhoea. We have these products on our website, here is the link https://www.jpholisticnutrition.com/collections/digestion
Some dogs may benefit from a calming supplement when you have lots of people visiting. If you know that your dog can be nervous do not wait for Christmas Day to use the calming supplement, start using it at least a week before Christmas. We at JP Holistic Nutrition have natural calming supplements for dogs and cats, here is the link https://www.jpholisticnutrition.com/collections/calming You may want to try the Adaptil calming diffuser that uses pheromones for calming.
Exercising your dog.
And finally, if you have a nervous reactive dog when they are out walking, that you have been working on to get that engagement with your dog and building up their confidence out on your walk. Then I do not recommend having that Christmas walk with all the family and children because your dog has already had a busy Christmas Day with the family and has probably been overwhelmed and excited. So, stick to your normal training routine, otherwise you could set all your hard work dog training back to square one.
JP Holistic Nutrition would like to wish you and your pets a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
JP Holistic Nutrition