How to look after your dog this winter
Here at Under One Woof, we’ve long talked about the importance of creating a stable routine for your dog. That routine, however, almost certainly goes out the window when the Festive Season arrives. Family members turn up for the first time; relatives from far-flung parts of the world are on your doorstep; new sights and sounds abound and it’s all a lot for your dog to take in.
In the post to follow, we’ll outline a few tips to keep in mind. These will mostly apply to a young dog who is experiencing the Festive Season for the first time, though it also applies to a pet that finds itself in a new home.
Try to stick to a routine as much as possible
There are a lot of new sights and sounds for your animal to take in, but where possible, keep taking him out for that daily walk. Try and keep mealtimes as stable as possible too. With all the excitement in his life, he’ll need the exercise and the stability to keep him calm.
On a side note: are you looking for the best breed to exercise with this Festive Season? Take a look at our deep dive into the best doggy jogging companions.
Don’t let your dog near any choking hazards
Christmas decorations are part and parcel of the Festive fun, but always be mindful of keeping small bobbles, lights and ornaments away from your dog’s reach. Some of these can be choking hazards, and if your dog is young, they might not realize that they’re not for eating!
Make sure your dog is trained not to steal food
It’s normal for a dog to start to act out when there’s so much excitement going around him. This might be because he lacks attention or feels like he has pent up energy he needs to expel. Commonly, your pup will start to steal food as a way of getting your attention. This can be especially annoying when guests are over and you want to make a good impression.
Read our article on how to stop your dog stealing food. Some takeaways are: never raise your voice in response; check that you’re feeding him enough; and give him a toy to play with…
…A Christmas toy is a great distraction
There are presents around the tree for friends and family, and by rights, your doggo deserves one too! The Jeffers blog has a few great gifting ideas. Standouts include: Christmas Tree Squeaker Mats; Antler Chew dog treats; and Outdoor All Weather Dog Jacket – and a plush Dog Bed. At the minimum, we would advise that you get him something he can chew on so that he has a positive distraction during the commotion of Christmas day itself.
Make sure he has a place he can call his own
When a dog faces new sights and sounds, he occasionally needs a spot to call his own. To prepare in advance, make sure he has a dedicated sleeping spot with his favourite toys and all his familiar smells. That will make it easier for him when the madness starts and the excitement gets ratcheted up to eleven.