Thanksgiving holidays can be stressful. You’re trying to make sure everybody is having a good time and, of course, you would love your dog to have a good day as well. Your to do list might already have 100 items on it, so read below to add one more to make it 101 – develop a plan for your dog.
The goal is to set your dog up for success by making it easier for her not to give in to one of the many temptations and helping her get into the right emotional state. Giving your dog lots of exercise in the morning is a great way to help her achieve relaxed and contented state for the rest of the day. Some training for the sake of mental exercise can also help your dog to be at her best the rest of the day. Tired dog is a happy dog, but bored dog can be trouble.
Take a walk after dinner. It’s good for you and for the dog. The exercise is great, even if you walk slowly after a large meal, and most dogs love being outside. If your dog is not used to a walk at that time, it’s a special treat. If she’s used to going out at that time, sticking to this part of her routine is a great kindness to her.
Train your visitors. If people are coming to your home it’s a good idea to train your guests on proper dog etiquette. Some dogs prefer to be left alone until they feel comfortable approaching new people. If you have family or friends that are bringing small children to the house teach the children the proper care and respect for petting and handling your animals. Your dog should never be poked, chased, or picked up if they are not comfortable with it.
Distract your dog with new toy or chewable treat. A new toy is sure to keep your pup busy, distracted and rewarded for good. For instance, if have a dog who likes to beg or get on the counter-tops when you are cooking, lure him to stay out of the way of the kitchen by keeping him busy with a new chew toy. Stuff some Kongs or other food extraction toys ahead of time that you can give your dog to keep her occupied.
Say NO to table scraps. Let your guests know your dog is well fed and the sorry looking puppy face is just a ploy. Most of thanksgiving food is not good for your dog. Turkey bones could be dangerous to many breeds. Garlic, onions, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, grapes, and chocolates are poisonous to dogs. Green beans, mashed potatoes, cheese, and turkey are fine in small quantities, if your dog is used to eating table food.
Your dog is one of the joys of your life for which you are very grateful. Make her Thanksgiving as good as it can be. It will give her one more reason to be thankful for you!