Preparing for the silly season with your dog

By gapnsw.com.au
It’s very easy to get swept up in the spirit of Christmas. After all, putting up the tree, Christmas decorations, and preparing for the flurry of family and friends can be an exciting time.
However, in the eyes of your greyhound, the constant stream of guests, loud music, and endless amounts of food on display can be a stressful and daunting time. If your dog is particularly sensitive or suffers anxiety, Christmas should be planned in advance so your pooch enjoys the festive season as much as you do.
Here are some tips and tricks to prepare your pooch for the silly season:

Stick to a routine
As boring as it sounds, dogs are sticklers for routine. They enjoy knowing when they will be fed, walked, when it’s playtime and when to settle in for the night. Try and stick to your normal routine as much as possible to avoid disrupting their day and cause undue anxiety.

Phase your decorating
Changing the look and layout of your home can be disconcerting for your dog, especially when it’s done suddenly. Rather than putting up all of your decorations in one session, or moving furniture/rolling out beds, etc for guests, consider phasing your decorating over the course of a week.

Allocate a dedicated safe zone
If you are expecting a large number of guests, ensure you have a dedicated safe zone for your dog to escape and enjoy some quiet time. Make the space cosy by including their favourite blanket, toy, and anything that provides them comfort. Let your guests know (particularly small children) that your pooch is not to be disturbed when they are in their safe zone.

Keep them occupied while you enjoy Christmas dinner
Chances are that your Christmas dinner will contain ingredients that can be harmful to dogs. In order to limit the risk of your guests feeding your pooch scraps or sneaking food under the table, keep them occupied in a different area with their own dinner or treats and toys.

Keep them away from chocolate
There’s always copious amounts of chocolate around the house at Christmas time. Whether you’ve bought them yourself, or you have been gifted them by family and friends, chocolate is never far away during the festive season. Chocolate is toxic for dogs so ensure you keep them well away from inquisitive paws and dispose of the wrappers straight away. It’s also a good idea to let your guests know how harmful chocolate is for dogs bellies so they are not tempted to feed them.

Don’t leave alcohol in accessible areas
As with chocolate, alcohol is also another indulgence that is always free-flowing during the festive season. Alcohol will wreak havoc in your dog's system so ensure you keep any alcohol in high places such as benches and tables where your pooch cannot take a sneaky drink.

Lock backyard fences & gates
As people come and go it’s easy to forget to shut doors and gates. An open front door or side gate is the perfect opportunity for your Houdini to make for a quick escape. Try and lock any gates so that people need to enter and exit through the front door which is easier to manage.
Above all, enjoy this time with your family, friends, and beloved pets.