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2750 N. Stiles Road, Ludington, MI

Is Your Dog Ready For Holiday Guests?

WEDNESDAY WISDOM:

Is Your Dog Ready For Holiday Guests?

The holidays are upon us and most of us are already busy getting ready for family and friends to celebrate with, meaning more activities and guests in your home. For some dogs this can be a stressful and difficult time. But planning ahead and doing a bit of training can help them settle in and enjoy the holidays with you.

Some training before the holidays will really help both you and your pup get through what can at times be a stressful period. Even if you haven’t done much training with your dog you can get started today! One of the commands that we like is the “place” command. Teaching your dog place can help keep them out from under your feet while you are in the kitchen cooking. Or you can even use it when you want a few minutes to unwind and relax before starting the next chore.

Another command that you might want to work on or even brush up on if you have already taught your dog this is the “off” command. When you guests arrive no one wants a dog jumping on them. Teaching them off and/or place can allow your guests to arrive at your home without the fear of getting knocked down by an excited dog. No one enjoys a 50+ pound dog jumping on them. I don’t even like it when my 10 lb dogs jump on me!

Managing Your Dog During The Holidays

It is very important that we manage our dogs during the holidays. Years ago my family had eaten our big turkey dinner and we decided to go for a long walk before we dove into the pies that my mom had prepared. After a nice and enjoyable walk we were all ready for pie. Sadly my brother’s dog had also decided he wanted pie! Let’s just say that was a pie-less Thanksgiving! It is very important to keep your dogs from counter surfing. If you don’t have your eyes on them be sure they are in a safe place and away from being able to get into any food.

Also, it’s important to keep your dog comfortable. If you know your dog gets nervous or anxious when guests are in your home then it’s important to provide them with a spot where they feel safe. Typically a crate in another room where it can be quiet for them is a good idea. Or maybe use a laundry room for them. The important takeaway is that if your dog isn’t comfortable with guests be sure and keep your dog away from your guests and don’t allow them to interact with the dog. Not all dogs appreciate that. This is extremely important if you have children as guests in your home.

You should also consider providing some type of distraction when you have guests in your home. We like to use bully sticks or Nylabones with our dogs. In fact, we sell both of them at our boarding facility. These chews can keep your dog busy for hours. You can also provide a favorite toy.

Exercise! Let me say that again — EXERCISE your dog! You can not exercise your dog too much during these busy and stressful times. Remember, “a good dog is a tired dog” rings true during the holidays. The more physical exercise you can give your dog during the holidays the less rambunctious your dog will be when you have guests over. The more exercise the more your dog will be happy to crawl into his crate for a nap.

Most importantly, keep your dogs and your guests safe during the holidays. There are many foods that you do not want your dog getting into. No one wants to have to drive to an emergency vet office on a holiday. So with a bit of thought and a bit of training you can have your dog ready for holiday guests.

We still have some openings for boarding during the holidays so if you need to board your dog while going out of town or if you feel it might be better for the dog to not be in a house full of guests give us a call at 231-845-0550. Also, we are on week 3 of our Basic Obedience Class and currently taking reservations for our December dog training. If you are planning to have a lot of guests for Christmas give us a call as your dog can be easily trained by Christmas! It will make life less stressful for you and your dog! #ludingtondogtraining#dogtraining#dogboarding

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