Monday, December 24

Merry Christmas Eve

Today is your last chance to finish your shopping, wrapping and anything else you need to make your Christmas a good one.  Some of you may start your gift giving tonight, so I want to make sure to give you some last minute tips to make sure your dog has fun but stays out of trouble.

One of the cutest things I've seen is a dog tearing into a wrapped package to discover their present.  The most frustrating thing I have seen is to come home and find one of my wrapped packages for  a friend or family member unwrapped by the dog!  But to the dog, what is the difference?  There really isn't one, except that one is meant for them, the other for someone else, but how would they know that?  This is a line that gets blurred all the time, then the dog is punished for doing what on other occasions they have been rewarded for.

If you want your dog to participate in the unwrapping fun, teach them a command to go with it.  This is no guarantee that they later won't unwrap things on their own, but it is a start.  All you need to do is take a wrapped box, get your dog to start tugging on it and name the command and treat.  I would make the command simple, like "unwrap".  Each time the dog tugs at the wrapping paper to get it off the box, say "unwrap" and treat.  Then have fun during the festivities and show off a new trick!

If you think this is a bad idea for your dog, simply keep them away from the presents and do not allow them to get involved in opening them.  They can be near you, just not participating.  This might be a good time for them to be on their bed with a Christmas bone or frozen Kong.

When it comes to your dogs gifts, remember they are not human, they may not react to a new collar or leash the way we would to new clothes.  But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed to smell it and investigate it a little before it goes on. 

Also, if you are getting your dog a bunch of treats and bones, you may want to slowly give these out over the next few days.  Or just have them sample one of each treat and choose one bone for the evening.  Giving them a bunch of treats and bones can cause an upset stomach and will make for a very long night.

If your dog should eat something that is toxic be sure to contact the ASPCA poison control at (888) 426-4435.  

I hope you all have a great Christmas Eve!  Do something special with your pooch today.