There also are new and exciting objects Fido can get into as we decorate for the holidays. New décor
can be irresistible to Fido and it is important to make sure these objects are out of reach. Christmas
trees, ornaments, extension cords, decorative lights, snow globes, scented candles, poinsettias (poisonous
to dogs) and holiday treats are all new things Fido may want to explore.
It is important to work on or refresh "leave-it" training before putting out your holiday cheer. The best
way to decorate is to put Fido in another room during that time. If Fido does not see you moving and
touching new objects (decorations), the items will interest him less. After you have finished decorating,
let Fido out of his room and keep a close watch on him for the first couple of days. Doing it this way
should cause the new décor to become boring background objects for your dog. Remember to keep
plenty of toys and chew toys out so your dog will direct his focus on those items rather than your
This is also a popular time for visitors to our homes. It is important to be a support system for your
companion. Many guests arriving at one time can be stressful for your dog. Many dogs enjoy guests
coming to the house but they can become stressed when guests stay for long periods of time. It is
important to take Fido out for a short walk to unwind during your guests' stay or put Fido in a separate
room for some down time. This will help prevent Fido from becoming over stimulated especially when
your guests include children.
To keep Fido and your guests safe this holiday season instruct your guests how to act around the dog. It
is important to teach your guests what Fido can and cannot have. We all know our guests love to spoil
our pets with food and new toys. It is very important to establish boundaries for our guests. Every family
has different rules but the most important thing is to help Fido be as stress-free as possible. Training in
advance will help Fido understand the rules and stressors that come with this time of year.
Our guests are sometimes not limited to the two-legged kind. Some guests may bring their dogs when
they visit your house. It is important all four-legged friends meet each other outside before rushing into
the house. This will help prevent over stimulation and chaos at the door.
Remember to pick up all of your pet's prized possessions before furry friends visit to prevent resource
guarding. Some objects may include: favorite toys, bones and food. Encourage your guests to exercise
their dog before arriving at your home. Calm four-legged guests will provide a more relaxing atmosphere
for your own pet.
With a little time and planning this holiday season can be successful for both you and your pet. Exercise
and mental stimulation can help alleviate a lot of stress for Fido while all the new changes occur. If you
have concerns about your pet's stress this holiday season consult with your veterinarian or seek a
professional trainer for help.
Tails for Life's mission is to empower children with disabilities to increase their independence and
enhance their quality of life. They are dedicated to training service dogs to service the needs of
children with medical and/or psychological disabilities.
During this holiday season, Tails for Life is hoping to reach 5 children who are in need of a service dog.
To help make a difference in a child's life, click to view the Tails for Life Holiday Fundraiser form and