Although dog training may take a back seat to other activities during the vacations, it is important that your pet does not become anxious or develop bad habits. Your family may have a busy schedule, but your dog prefers routine and predictability and may find this time of year stressful.
Travel and strangers in the house are also a challenge for your pet, especially if he is not used to these activities. Try the following tips for dog training to ensure your pet is safe and happy during the vacations.
Prepare your home
Think of your pet when you decorate your home for the vacations. Christmas trees can be tempting for dogs, and whether you choose live or artificial Christmas trees, you need to take precautions. Many pets will want to explore the entire area of the tree, perhaps even jumping on the tree or trying to climb the trunk. To counteract this behaviour, try a redirection method for dog training by ordering your dog to sit. In the meantime, make sure your Christmas tree is stable and that fragile ornaments are out of reach.
Avoid using food as an ornament and never use tinsel, as it can get caught in a dog’s digestive tract, cut into the intestine or cause intestinal obstruction. Be careful when leaving gifts under the tree as they can be tempting, even for pets that have undergone dog training.
Some houseplants usually seen on vacations are poisonous or poisonous to dogs. To ensure your pet’s safety, avoid decorating it with holly, poinsettias and mistletoe. And if you have received a lily, daffodil or amaryllis arrangement, place it so that your dog cannot reach it.
Many households are happy to receive visitors during the vacations. It is a good idea to develop a strategy for training dogs when guests arrive. You can try to put your pet on a leash to prevent it from running away and to control its behaviour.
You can also try locking your dog in a box or keeping him in a separate room until everyone has settled in. Once the activity has calmed down, you can allow your pet to join the party.
It should be noted, however, that even if you love your dog and want him to join your party, your guests may not be as in love. They are better dressed in their vacation clothes and may not want to entertain your pet. If this is the case, you should consider taking your pet on board, giving it to a pet sitter or, if it can handle it, letting it wait for the party alone in another part of the house.
Travelling with your dog
If you plan to travel with your pet, plan ahead. If you travel by car, use a crate or harness to secure your pet during the trip. Dogs can get motion sickness. Avoid feeding your pet while the vehicle is in motion. Take frequent breaks and make sure your dog is well trained.
If your travel plans include a flight, you should check the airline’s regulations regarding pet accommodations to make sure you understand the restrictions. It’s easier for your dog if you don’t offer food six hours before departure. No matter how you travel, be sure to bring along your pet’s bedding, bowls and favourite toys as they will help your pet feel more comfortable and secure.
Taking care of your dog on vacation is all about preparation and planning. Some pet owners find this time of year ideal to enroll their canine companions in a dog training program or training camp. For a cost only slightly more than the cost of accommodation, you and your pet can benefit from specialized professional training.