The holidays are quickly approaching and as you sip cocoa, warming your toes by the
fireplace, planning all the parties and fun events, you might be thinking, “What about the dog?” Have no fear, Canine Companions is here with your quick holiday survival guide.

Here are some helpful holiday tips:

rachel-50101. Use the crate. If you’re going to a holiday party or traveling to visit family or friends and can’t leave the dog at home, take a crate with you. The crate provides a safe resting place for the dog during dinner, crowded areas or other activities that could be stressful or too excitable for your dog. Don’t wait for your dog to show stress or too much excitement; plan crate time around activities instead.

2. Manage interactions with guests. Half of the battle with appropriate interactions is learning when and where these should happen. Your dog doesn’t have to be the greeter and too many new guests can be stressful. Take your dog or puppy out to practice appropriate greetings if the guests can follow basic etiquette recommended for the age of the dog. This includes appropriate etiquette around children and food.

3. Check the environment for hazards. Holiday plants like poinsettias, holly and mistletoe are toxic to dogs so be sure they are out of reach. Be aware of other hazards or poisons that may be in the yard or home as well.

4. Keep your home and décor puppy safe. If you have a Christmas tree, be sure to keep tempting ornaments and tinsel out of reach. Be sure the dog or puppy can’t get to the tree or is always supervised as drinking water out of the tree base or eating the needles can be toxic. Most gifts, but specifically those containing food, should be stored out of the dog’s reach. You may want to put baby gates up at entryways to the room with the tree.img_4813-edit

5. Incorporate exercise. Exercise is always important, however, most people’s routines are thrown off by holidays and vacations and this can affect the dog. Be sure to plan an exercise routine that works for you as well as your dog. Exercise before a potentially stressful activity. If your dog has been in its crate for a bit be sure to give time for a break and a walk. Try and keep the dog’s exercise routine as consistent as possible.

Holidays are a joyous time of year. Planning ahead will help you and your pup have a safe and fun time while enjoying the holiday spirit.

We wish you a joyous and happy holiday season!

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