Thanksgiving Survival Guide by Dorice Stancher, MBA, CPDT-KA

Happy Thanksgiving friends and family! Here is a quick guide to surviving Thanksgiving with your dog. Yes, I know your dogs are the perfect family members but sometimes things can come a little unhinged with all the food and humans coming in and out.

So here are some tips to help with the holiday…

  1. Exercise for you and your dog. Think of a ball toss but even better is at least a nice walk. Add in some mental exercises like waiting to cross the street, turns, etc. as mental stimulation is good for the both of you and can be tiring to your dog.

  2. Who will be the responsible human? Will it be your niece the dog-lover who wants a puppy? Whoever it is, make sure they take your dog out for regular potty breaks. Have a supply of stuffed Kongs or bully sticks to give your dog when they are in “quiet time”.

  3. Greet guests with your dog on leash (6 ft. or shorter) and please no flexi-leads, or have an established quiet place like their crate, away from the action. When greeting guests step on the leash and allow your dog to sit or stand but not jump. Teach the humans to keep their hands low. Have a toy handy to give your dog as dogs usually will not jump with a toy in their mouths.

  4. Do not allow guests to feed your dog near the dinner table and monitor what is fed to your dog.

  5. Have fun and look and count your blessings.

Dorice Stancher, MBA, CPDT-KA Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT), Consultant for Pet Therapy, Writer for AKC Family Dog and Gazette, Owner of Canines Can Do

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