It is no secret, that dogs love routine. Our four-legged friends are creatures of habit, with a daily routine helping to bring structure and confidence to their lives. During the festive season leading up to Christmas Day, routines often get disrupted due to so much going on in the home. Our homes can often become very chaotic, with relatives and friends visiting and owners often needing to travel away themselves. With so many disruptions happening during December, it can easily interrupt the routine of your canine companion. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs, we have highlighted four tips for owners to follow to help restore structure and routine to their dog’s lives over Christmas. We hope you enjoy this article and find it useful.
1. Key Behaviour Signs
There are many key behaviour signs to watch out for in your pet this Christmas. If you see your dog going into hiding, licking their paws, or panting, and usually being more vocal by barking, howling, or yawning, then this can indicate that they are feeling distressed and need your attention. As soon as you notice these signs, move them to a safe place and comfort them by giving them lots of love and attention.
Over Christmas, our homes can become very noisy and frenzied, so ensure your dog has their own safe area to retreat to and continuously monitor them throughout the day ensuring that they are always feeling safe and secure.
2. Dog Friendly Christmas
Dogs find comfort in the familiarity of their environment. If you are putting up decorations, then gradually introduce them into your home during the festive period. As discussed earlier, it is also advised to create a safe space in your home that your dog can retreat to if they need some alone time on Christmas Day. If you have lots of relatives and friends around on Christmas Day, then make sure that you are giving your dog plenty of attention and TLC.
3. Daily Dog Walks
For many owners, you cannot beat a Christmas dog walk, at your favourite secure dog park or nearby field, especially if you want to burn off the extra calories consumed from your Christmas meal. Persuade the family to accompany you for a festive and refreshing dog walk after your Christmas lunch and maintain your dog’s walking schedule on the big day. Walking your dog each day at a set time, helps to provide them with mental stimulation and physical exercise and helps to also strengthen your bond with your pet.
4. Feeding Times
During the festive period, our eating routines often go out the window! With so many delicious foods readily available throughout the day, it can be easy to snack and graze in between mealtimes. It can also be extremely tempting over Christmas, to feed our four-legged friend’s tasty tit bits from our plates. Sadly, overfeeding can lead to serious health related issues in dogs, such as heart disease, arthritis, not to mention a decreased life expectancy, so it is crucial to monitor your dog’s daily eating habits and maintain their regular eating times over December.
This festive season, by maintaining your dog’s daily routine through regular dog walks, set feeding times and lots of TLC, you will ensure you both experience a memorable and joyful Christmas together.