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Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by gooddogdc on November 23, 2013 at 10:40 AM

With the holidays fast approaching, it’s a great time to make sure everything is in order for your dog! Here are a few quick tips:

Invest in a few extra chew toys for the holiday season. I really love bully sticks. The 12” ones are a great long-lasting, durable chew toy. I take them away when they get down to swallowing size, one or two inches. Most dogs adore them! I also like to keep several stuffed KONGs ready to go in the freezer. When company gets here, I swipe a little cream cheese over the top to get my dogs started and voila! I have the perfect doggy entertainment “pup-sicle”. My dogs are happy chewing and I can entertain my guests without having to worry about them. When things get busy, if my dogs are underfoot, I just crate them with a couple bully sticks. By the time they work their way through those, they usually just settle down for a nice nap!

Pre-designate a “sanctuary space” for your dog. This is especially necessary for young dogs or dogs who have any sort of behavior issues. Having a quiet room with no guests where they can go to calm down is so helpful! The sanctuary room should be dimly lit, have classical music or some other soft background noise, a cozy resting place, some chew toys, and a bowl of water. You can put your dog here anytime it seems like they are getting upset or if they need a break from all of the excitement! Your dog will thank you for this space if things get hectic!

Brush up on your basics. Before the family gets here, take a few minutes each day to refresh your dog’s skills with some short, positive training sessions. Similar to if you learned to play the piano, but didn’t play for a whole year. It might not be a bad idea to have some practice sessions before a performance! Likewise, your dog will appreciate the practice and it may make the holidays go smoother for everyone involved. Sit, down, stay, leave it, and come are the basics that every dog should know to be a great pet. Brushing up on any tricks, such as shake, can also be real crowd pleasers and fun for your dog too!

Finally, exercise, exercise, exercise!!! This is a major dog training "secret" for a perfect dog.  It is well worth it to wake up an extra hour early to exercise your dog during the holidays. If you have family in town or if you are traveling, adding an extra hour of exercise to your dog’s normal routine can be a lifesaver! This is a great time to go hiking, play some hard fetch, go swimming, have a doggy playdate, or do any other high intensity exercise. Your dog will be nice and tired and should sleep calmly throughout the day, and you can just smile and take all of the credit when your friends and family can’t believe what a well-behaved dog you have!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving week and that the above tips make this holiday a little nicer for you and your dog!!!

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