The holidays are almost upon us. This weekend calls for Christmas activities filled with family members you haven’t seen in months (or maybe years). Typically these gatherings take place at someone’s house and if you are a fellow dog parent who is the lucky host and you are worried about your dog acting out and causing a scene at your gathering, keep on reading.
As a host, you want to impress your guests. Drinks should be cold, food prepared on time, house cleaner than usual, bathroom stocked with toilet paper, etc. If you have a dog who is not well behaved, tends to become destructive or cause chaos when in a group of people, you are likely worried that your dog will obstruct your awesome hosting skills. Your perfectly cooked appetizers and impeccable Christmas decorations will be blacked out of everyone’s memory, as all they can remember is the dog who wouldn’t stop humping everyone or the dog who got a hold of the ham. You are in luck, because there are a handful of ways to make your holiday attendees believe that your dog is actually is good boy or girl (even if they are not).
Now, don’t actually overexert your dog to exhaustion that could cause them harm… but give them enough activity and stimulation so they appear to be more well behaved (it will seem this way because they will be too tired to cause a ruckus, and their focus will be on curling up on their dog bed instead of jumping on all of your aunts and uncles). Exercise is the best way to do this.
Take the dog on a VERY long walk or run immediately before people begin to arrive, spend the morning hours at the dog park, set up a puppy play date with the neighbor dog that day, drop the dog off at a doggy daycare where they can play all day, or conduct a serious game of fetch.
USE DISTRACTIONS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
During the gathering, make sure your dog is distracted and has something to do in the other room (away from everyone). Get a new bone or a new toy. Something that will keep them busy for an extended period of time.
AVOID THE OBVIOUS
There are times where the dog should just be out of the picture. Avoid having grandma getting knocked over on when she walks in by putting the dog out in the back yard. Have your dog go in the kennel when dinner is being served so no food goes missing. Keep the trash locked up so the dog can’t access all the extra garbage and scraps. When gifts are being exchanged, make sure the dog is in the other room to avoid him or her attacking the wrapping paper. If there are babies or small children around and your dog isn’t used to dealing with tiny humans, have them take a nap in their kennel.
MAKE SURE HYGIENE IS UP
If family members get to interact with your dog you don’t want them having to wash their hands because your pet is super smelly. Give your dog a bath, clip his nails and make sure his doggie breath is on point.
IF ALL ELSE FAILS…
If you are reading this and you think, no way in hell is this going to work. Maybe the option is to not have the dog there in general. There are tons of boarding facilities and veterinary clinics out there who can help you out for the night or weekend.
If you use these tips you may be able to fool your family and friends into thinking you have a really good dog!
Good luck on your Christmas endeavors and keeping your crazy puppy under control – mine will just be staying at home so I can avoid any of the drama.