The importance of your dog’s routine …especially during the holiday season

Mar 1, 2024 1:35:21 PM

It’s fairly safe to assume that most of our pets have a routine of sorts. It’s often one of the things dog owners enjoy too, although of course we never get to enjoy a lie in... our dogs’ natural internal alarm clocks are on high alert when it’s time to rise!

So when we interrupt our usual day-to-day existence with a summer holiday or festive celebrations it’s to be expected that our canine friends also experience a change in their routines. Whilst it’s great to be flexible and spontaneous our dogs don’t understand that.  Therefore, for us to fully enjoy a change of routine we have to factor in that our dependent, faithful companions still need some consistency in their lives.

Feeding

Your dog’s feeding routine needs to match their usual times as closely as possible. Unless you are altering your dog’s food or feeding times permanently it’s something you need to be consistent with so you don’t risk an upset stomach or other digestive issues. It’s also confusing for your dog to be fed out of his routine.

Being strict around your dog’s intake sounds harsh, especially at Christmas time, but dogs need a balanced, regular diet that they’re used to. Introducing random treats, in high quantities, over a short period of time, won’t do them any favours. This is something you need to be extra careful with if your dog is unwell or has a sensitive stomach. Refer to our recent blog ‘What not to feed your dog’ for more information on ingredients that can be harmful.

Trophy has a range of food designed for dogs with digestive issues, as well as some interesting herb supplements. These are worth a browse on our website – look for ‘Herbs’ in the Food Finder.

Walks

You can be a bit more flexible with your dog’s daily walks, altering the time and length of your outing to suit your itinerary. You may even find the walking party is a bit larger than usual as friends and relatives join you to walk off their festive excesses! What’s important is that your dog continues to get regular exercise, attention and fresh air – as well as the opportunity to toilet throughout the day.

New people and noise

In addition to the routine changes in your dog’s life over the Christmas period, they are also likely to meet new or less familiar people. You should calmly introduce your dog to visitors as they arrive and allow your dog to greet them in their own time. If your dog isn’t used to excitable small children, for example, the changed environment can create tension so managing the introductions is important.

Don’t forget

When your household is busier than usual and there’s lots going on, it’s all too easy to overlook the dog. Take some time at several points during the day to check in and make sure they seem content. Some reassuring attention and affection will go a long way.

Quiet space

Above all, when your dog has had all the pre-requisite attention, food and walks, make sure there is somewhere quiet for them to retreat to, away from everything where they can simply relax and enjoy some solitude. 

References

https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/seasonal/christmas/calm

 

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