Dogs & the Holidays
A Survival Guide
The holiday season may be the most magical time of year, but it can also be the most stressful. While gearing up for merrymaking this year, don’t forget pets can feel the strain of the season too. This survival guide will help everyone stay off the naughty list.
- Plan Ahead. Going out of town? Make sure it will be a pet-friendly experience before hitting the road. Check with your hosts to confirm that dogs will be welcome and the event is dog-appropriate. If you’re staying in a hotel, avoid surprises by carefully reviewing the pet guidelines that relate to your stay. Don’t forget to pack your pup’s food, medication, favorite toys, plenty of water, and any items that will keep them calm and comfortable while away from home. And if your dog can’t join you, treat them to a stay in one of our luxury suites. Santa never misses a stop at WTPR!
- Chill Out. Whether you celebrate in your own home or someone else’s, holiday cheer can be overwhelming for dogs. Keep an eye on them for signs of stress and be sure to have a quiet place for them to retreat if needed. Add a comfy bed, their favorite chew toy, soothing music, or turn on a holiday movie to help them relax.
- Eat Right. It’s easy to overindulge during the holidays, but altering a dog’s diet too much can have negative effects. In addition to weight gain, some holiday staples can provide tummy upset while others are actually harmful to dogs. To be safe, avoid giving table scraps to dogs and ask guests to refrain as well. Have a healthy treat alternative easily accessible – even some of their dried kibble can be a great option! Unfortunately, some dogs don’t restrict their eating to food. Keep enticing holiday decorations and toxic plants like holly, poinsettias, and mistletoe safely out of reach. Find more information on Animal Poison Control by visiting ASPCA.org.
- Play Hard. They say a happy dog is a tired dog and we couldn’t agree more! Dogs love routine and thrive with structure especially during the holidays. Try to maintain their walk and exercise schedules and, remember, we’re here to help if you can’t! If your dog has more energy than usual or you’re short on time, drop in for a “Playday” doggy daycare session! With locations in Bloomington and Eagan, it’s easier than ever for Happy Dogs to Play (and Stay!) Here.
- Get Pampered. Dogs are at their best when they feel their best. In addition to rest, diet, and exercise don’t overlook your dog’s grooming routine. Whether it’s a nail trim, brushing, or bath, regular grooming leaves dogs feeling their best, plus it will have them looking their best in all of your holiday photos! Pamper yourself and your pooch this season by scheduling an appointment at the Canine Spa today.
Most importantly, don’t forget to give your dog their favorite thing in the world: Quality time with you! Sneak an extra walk when you can, a few extra rounds of fetch, or a little snuggling under the Christmas tree. No matter what you choose, it will make the holiday season even brighter for you and your dog.