How can we enjoy our Well-Rounded Dog this holiday season? Looking at the Wellness Wheel, how can we keep our dog happy while meeting all their needs even with all the guests, festivities, and activity?
Here are some of my favorite tips for keeping my dogs healthy and happy during the holidays:
I provide a safe place for my dogs away from guests and activity. My dogs often enjoy visiting, but sometimes they just want or need a place away from everyone. A quiet bedroom with their beds, some chews and soft music works well for this.
Even though I’m busy this time of year, and I may have guests or be traveling myself, I try to ensure my dogs have plenty of time for uninterrupted sleep. Sometimes this means I employ the safe place, so they aren’t constantly being interrupted by noise and commotion. Sleep is so important for our dogs' wellbeing and health.
It’s important for me to continue to provide my dogs with daily exercise, play and enrichment. Spending quality time with them is important, and providing for these needs daily ensures that my dog is content and satisfied while I do other things with the rest of my day.
Listening to what my dogs are telling me is super important. By watching my dogs' behavior, I can tell when they are becoming overwhelmed by all the people, noise and activity around them. Often all they need is for me to create that safe place for them.
I strive to keep life as low-stress for my dogs as possible at all times of the year, but during the holidays it has to be more of a priority for me to consider their needs because I’m often more distracted by my own stuff.
Placing gates or ex pens near doorways ensure that my dogs stay safely at home while guests and deliveries are coming and going. Everyone is distracted this time of year, and a dog can easily slip out a door unnoticed even if they are well-trained.
Keeping to a schedule as much as possible is important for my dogs to feel safe and content. If their mealtimes, walks and playtimes are too off kilter, they may become anxious or stressed.
And, as always, I continue to reinforce behaviors that I like. I have goodies easily available during all holiday preparations and activities. When I see my dog greet a guest appropriately, leave food alone that’s on the coffee table, or behave in other ways that I like, I let them know.
Here’s hoping you and your Well-Rounded Dog have an amazing holiday season! Take some time to care for your own, and your dog’s needs during this time to keep you both happy and content.
For more information about the Well-Rounded Dog program, and to find support for you and your dog this season, please visit me at www.yourinnerdog.com