Holidays are a wonderful time. But it seems no matter how organized I am and how much I get done ahead of time, I still seem to find myself scurrying to get last minute things done. The hustle and bustle brings about sentimental traditions and also a level of anxiety sometimes. Expectations can be high to make this time of year a special time with family and friends. But let us not forget our very special friends...our dogs. With so much going on it is easy to not pay as much attention to our dogs. If we think about just how we can involve them in our many holiday activities it will make a positive difference for everyone. It just takes a little bit of planning ahead.
Shopping - I know I don't have to tell many of you to shop for your dog. We spend so much money on our dogs and the holiday is no exception. I take delight in looking for just that right toy and chew for my dogs. It is important for our dogs to have a gift under the tree with all the other gifts or perhaps a stocking stuffer too. Keeping safety in mind is always important for our dogs well being. No choking hazards even if it is the cutest toy on the rack it may not be the safest. Your dog will be thrilled with a toy of interest that will occupy his/her time while you are opening your gifts.
Baking - My dogs are my constant companions when I am baking. Jazz and Jive each keep watch for the piece of caramel corn that may drop to the floor. They are there in a flash to scoop it up and savor the find. Of course we need to be careful dogs don't get into anything in the kitchen that could be harmful to them. Chocolate is just one holiday favorite our dogs should not have. However, there are many easy to bake treats for dogs. Making treats for dogs part of the holiday baking can be a lot of fun for everyone. I even have bone shaped cookie cutters that make baking dog gone fun. ;-)
Time - Time is very precious during the holidays. Taking a few moments just to be with your dog can help you feel relaxed and even rejuvenated. Looking into your dogs' eyes and feeling that calm come over you could be just what you need as a brief time out from the hustle and bustle. Dogs have a wonderful way of keeping us in the moment and helping us realize everything will get done as it needs to. Spending a few moments throwing a ball for your dog to fetch or tugging with his/her favorite toy is beneficial for both you and your dog. ENJOY!
Safety & Exercise - Keeping dogs and children safe is a priority. When family gathers and children are excited our dogs can be excited too. Keeping a loving and watchful eye on our dogs is important when voices are loud and gifts are being opened. I give my dogs a chew that will occupy them for 20 - 30 minutes and put them in a quiet safe place away from the gift opening. They can still see us and we can see them but they are happy with their chews and everyone else is happy opening gifts. After the holiday meal it is fun to go for a walk with your dog. There may be visiting family and friends who would love the opportunity to walk and walking with your dog would be even more fun, especially for your dog. Even in Minnesota when our weather is in the 20's or 30's it can be a lovely time to spend outside walking.
Holidays are a very special time to be with family and friends. Including our dogs makes it even more special.
Jazz and Jive and I want to wish all of you the happiest of holidays and an abundantly prosperous new year!
Woofs & Smiles!