Let our dogs tell you a little bit about the holidays and we'll elaborate on human terms:
"We dogs love to eat, but there are many people foods that are not nutritious for us, are bad for us and others that are just plain dangerous for us. Check before you give us any leftovers. We are social creatures. However many of us get overwhelmed by crowds of strangers, adults and kids alike. We may prefer staying in a quiet room over interacting with the visitors. If we are acting up and putting our mouths on things, (i.e. lights, decorations, people) make sure we're not bored. Extra walks, new toys, and even some fun training will definitely keep our minds busy!" -Taco & Mo
What the dogs are trying to say is that there are many traditional foods that we share with our dogs, that we should either eliminate from their diet or cut back on especially during the holidays. See this list of household hazards we share in each of our Basic Classes:
After we think about their physical safety, we also need to keep our dogs mentally healthy and content. There are many dogs who are social butterflies and want to be involved in everything the family does. Yet there are equally other dogs who want to be with their family but not their family's guests. If you're not sure if your dog is enjoying himself or not, here's a helpful video on dog body language from our friends at theFamilyDog.com (We saw them present at the APDT 2015 Conference, they are wonderful!)
Finally, if your dog is getting into things whether they are 10 years old or 10 weeks old, they may be bored. No doubt you've been busy getting gifts, cleaning up the house for visitors, cooking, and continuing with your day to day routine, which may have left little time for your furry baby. They love us unconditionally so don't feel too bad, just take some extra time to give them some exercise, buy them a chew or puzzle toy, or teach them a new trick. If your dog doesn't already understand how to "Drop/Give" items, now's a great time to teach them!
All in all, remember your dogs at this time of year. They'll thank you for it! As all dog parents know we must continue to attempt to be the people they already think we are.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!