Tips to help your dog behave while entertaining

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For your four-legged family members, the excitement of Christmas can be a little overwhelming. By planning ahead, you can make sure your precious pooch doesn’t become a pesky party animal.

Lots of cuddles from visiting relatives, piles of wrapping paper to play with and plenty of delicious crumbs to lap up under the kitchen table—it’s easy to see why Christmas is just as exciting for dogs as it is for their owners. Yet, when you’re entertaining, Fido’s excitement can quickly turn into frenzy and stress.

If you’re a dog owner, here are some simple tips for keeping your dog on her best behaviour over the holidays.

Take her for a long walk before the festivities

You’ve been to the supermarket, hoovered the carpets, arranged the crackers above each place setting—what’s left on your ‘to do’ list? Take your dog for a walk, of course! Make it a priority. A tired dog is a happy dog, and the more exhausted your pooch is from running around the neighbourhood, the more likely she is to sit calmly on her bed during your festive gatherings.

Feed her away from the kitchen

Dogs are part of the family, and it makes sense that you would like your furry friend to join you and the rest of your loved ones for Christmas dinner. But feeding her in the kitchen, surrounded by delicious smells and scraps of human food, simply isn’t fair. Unless she’s particularly well trained, the lure of treats might be too tempting to resist. Instead, feed her in a separate room away from the low hanging fruit of a festive dinner party.

Choose challenging toys to keep her busy

If you’re throwing a pre-Christmas bash, consider giving your dog her present a bit early. On the day of your party, present her with a challenging new toy to keep her amused when your guests are over. Wobbling ‘Kong’ toys, filled with treats that your dog must work to release, are popular with lots of different breeds. Once she has her fill of treats, she can hunt for squirrels instead with this ‘Hide a Squirrel’ dog toy from Waitrose.

Give her the option to opt out 

We’ve all been there before—trapped at a party we didn’t really want to attend in the first place. Dogs are no different. Plan for the possibility that your dog might not actually want to attend your big Christmas do. Lots of new faces and loud noises might put her off, and it’s important that she has a familiar, safe place to escape to. As your guests arrive, leave the door open to a bedroom or other area of the house that your dog feels comfortable in. Set up her bed and place some toys in a separate room in case she starts to feel overwhelmed.

How do you help your dog behave during the Christmas holidays?

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little owl
25th Apr 2015
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Thanks for voting!
I would like to make a point to other silver surfers - we had a Jack Russell until he was 18 when he died some years ago but we got him at 2 years old. On New Years Eve we bought a patterjack puppy (half Jack Russell and half Patterdale terrier) at 10 weeks old. He has had all his injections etc and is very well looked after but we really did not have an idea what we were taking on. Of course like any puppy he is mischievous and if it will fit on his mouth he will eat it - today it we as a new pair of wellies. My husband is nearly 71 and me nearly 68 and neither of us could be called fit although we do our best but I had been looking for a dog around 2 years old. If anybody else is thinking along these lines stick to the 2 year old as he has enough energy in a day to test us in a month. Of course he only had to look at you with a certain look in his eyes and your heart melts but it is really hard to cope. If we manage to get him trained in any way I think my soon will take him as he has lots of land but he is at work so it wouldn't be fair to either of them. We do take him to puppy school but I think he thinks it is a choir as he never shuts up as he loves people and other dogs and didn't fight just licks to death. Everybody know his name as it is so often on the lips of the instructor telling him to behave or be quiet.

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