Hosting Christmas can be a big job
There’s a lot to plan, a lot to do, and a lot to clean up. All the work and stress can be multiplied if guests bring their pets. The pooches usually get excited when there’s company and this can only add to the stress.
Here’s a couple things you can do beforehand to ensure you and the doggies have a fun, stress free time.
1. Prepare a space for the dogs before guests arrive.
It could be the back yard, the basement or anywhere that gives the dogs a little space to themselves. The last thing you need is having to find a play spot when the turkey has to come out, the potatoes have to be mashed and the gravy isn’t done yet.
2. Place hors d’oeuvres on higher tables.
Keeping food elevated is one way to ensure doggies doggies don’t get a chance to snatch a bite or two. There’s a lot of wonderful smells in the air during Christmas, even more for doggies. It can be easy to lose track of time or push meal time back when you have a lot on your mind. Which brings us to our next point.
3. Make sure the dogs are full.
While dogs can seemingly eat forever, they’re far more likely to be tempted to steal a bite if they’re hungry. You can always put some lean meat in their food for a treat or even some gravy (if it doesn’t contain butter).
4. Feed the dog right before dinner.
Dogs know how to ask for food, some are cute, some are entertaining, but all can be disruptive to your dinner. Feeding the dogs right before you place your meal down gives them time to eat and you some almost guaranteed begging-free time. Just like the hors d’oeuvres, if they’re hungry, they’ll be more tempted to beg or take food.
5. Give the dogs something to do.
It could be something to chew on like a rawhide or a game of fetch. Giving them an activity keeps their attention away from the meal. Doggies are great at parties, their small talk skills are virtually unmatched, but at tables, they’ve still got a bit to learn. If there’s a lot of snow where you live, the dogs shouldn’t have any trouble finding an activity.
6. Walk your dog before company arrives.
This is for two reasons: Christmas dinner isn’t a routine night and will likely disrupt the walking schedule, it also tires the doggie out. A tired dog is also a more socially patient dog, you might see your cousins every few weeks or so, try to think about how often your dogs see each other and how they’ll react when they meet.
7. Clean up toys before other dogs arrive.
Some pups can be a little protective of their stuff, if you have a dog that’s a bit choosey over who touches their toys, it might be a good idea to put it away before company arrives. This way you can avoid the situation altogether.