As another year comes to a close we want to take the time to wish all of you a very happy holidays! This year has been one for the books. We have grown so much and been thrilled to welcome on our first staff members this year, as well as all of our amazing new clients!
As we go into the holiday season we wanted to give all of you some great holiday safety tips. We love this graphic from the ASPCA full of safety tips:
The holidays can be a hard time to keep our pets safe. There are tons of people coming and going who don't know the rules of the house, lots of tasty treats just laying around, and all of those wonderful decorations for us all to enjoy! It can be stressful to add on keeping our pets safe. We want to avoid anyone getting out the front door, accidentally greeting a guest they might be uncomfortable with, eating something they shouldn't, or breaking something in their excitement. So what do we do?
Management is our best friend at the holidays, and it comes in a lot of different forms.
Baby Gates! Baby gates are one of our favorite ways to manage our dogs environment to make them as successful as possible. You can use a baby gate to block off your front door to prevent door dashing, to block off the kitchen to prevent counter surfing, to give your nervous dog a safe defined space that guests will not enter, or to keep dogs and kids separate! Think you can't find a gate to fit your space? Think again! Check out this super helpful article to find just the right baby gate for you.
Crates! Crates are a great way to manage your dog during the holidays. Have your pup crated while guests are arriving and departing to prevent door dashing, crate them during meals to prevent begging, or just give them a break from all the crazy family time with some quiet crate time.
Learned Behaviors. Things like "place" are great learned behaviors to break out during the holiday season. Get your guests into the training too! Set up a plan for how you want your dog to interact with your guests, and figure out how your guests can help. Maybe you want your dog to sit when they greet each new person? Set them up with treats as they come in the door and instruct them to ask for a sit as your pup reaches them, then treat!
Long Term Chews. Long lasting chews can be used in conjunction with any of our other management tools. Setting our dogs up with a stuffed Kong, bone, or whatever long lasting chew they enjoy is a great way to keep them occupied while you enjoy celebrations with your family.
Most importantly, watch your dog closely for any signs of discomfort. Don't allow children to use your pup as a jungle gym, and always make sure to give them a break when they need one. If you aren't sure how to tell, or exactly how to set your pup up for success during the holidays, we'd be happy to help!
We hope that you all have a safe and happy holiday season. We cannot wait to continue to grow and work with all of you in 2019!