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Howliday Season: How to Prep Your Pup

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Grooming Your Pet for the Holidays

Don’t make your pooch miss the festivities, he’s part of the family, too. In fact, it’s becoming more and more common for dogs to be included in family holiday celebrations.

Grooming to Get the Job Done

We get it – it’s a busy time of year (i.e., buying and wrapping presents, grocery shopping, cooking meals, traveling, the list goes on) and getting your dog groomed may be at the bottom of the to-do list.

For an easy just-groomed-look try waterless shampoo. It’s the perfect refresh between baths, and a quick no-mess way to clean up your pup. The waterless shampoo will leave a silky smooth coat and a fragrance your guests will love. Something your guest may not love is leaving your house with fur on their clothes. Remedy this by giving your dog a good brushing.

Another option for a quick refresh is using natural cleaning wipes. This is perhaps the most effortless way to clean your dog and will leave them with the same fresh scent a bath would. Be warned, your clean pup might fool your guests into thinking you’ve got all the time in the world this holiday season.

Mind the Food

We humans are known to overindulge during the holidays, but that doesn’t mean your dog should. Be mindful of the people-food you share, and how generous your guests are with giving out treats.

Pets can easily gain weight on table foods or become sick from eating something they shouldn’t. The safest option for your dog is to limit his diet the food meant only for him. Feed him before guests arrive or while they are eating to avoiding begging. It’s hard to keep an eye on him the whole time, but save yourself the mess by putting food where it is not easily accessed. This might be in a high place for a small dog or in a separate room completely. Crumbs and small scraps won’t be the end of the world, but you should specifically avoid your dog eating chocolate, grapes, nuts, raw or undercooked meat, and especially bones. These pose a choking hazard or can create painful splinters and an unplanned vet visit.

Home Away from Home

The chaos that ensues with family celebrations can be stressful for dogs, especially if he’s not usually around children. Make sure to supervise these interactions and separate your dog if he shows signs of being unwelcoming.

Dogs need to have a place to call ‘home’ when others are in their house so they can escape to somewhere to feel safe if they choose. This could be a room where guests are not present, a gated area, or dog beds to rest in around the house.

Guests take precedence at holiday affairs, but remember your dog has needs too. Make sure he has access to food and water and is let out as needed. Keep his collar with identification tags on even if he’s inside the house, with guests coming and going, it’s possible he might show himself out the door.

Share the Spirit

Don’t make your pooch sit around and watch you open presents, include him! Share the holiday spirit and stuff his stocking with goodies like treats, toys, and shampoo for bath-time bonding.

Time is seemingly hard to come by during the holidays, but exercising your dog prior to guest arrivals will encourage relaxed behavior. If he’s overly eager to greet guests, consider putting your dog on a leash as guests arrive to have more control over his behavior. Jumping for joy – on your guests – is a dog owner’s reality. Being prepared for the expected and unexpected will help you and your dog to have the best ‘howl’iday yet.

For more tips on how to be a great dog parent, visit the Expert Advice section of our website.

Visit our Pet Grooming resources for additional information and products for grooming, clipping, trimming, and bathing your pet.

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