Take a Dog Holiday This Holiday Season
As the holiday season ramps up, it's easy to let busy schedules squeeze out time spent one-on-one with your dog(s). If you're lucky enough to get extended time off for various holidays, long weekends, and such, I encourage you to Take a Dog Holiday for at least 1 of those days off. What's a dog holiday? 5 ideas for you and your pup.
You will notice right away that I'm talking about giving your dog TIME and ATTENTION. Toys = fun, for sure, but it's really YOU being there too with the toy and the fun that matters to your dogs.
This holiday season I invite you to give your dog the GIFT of TIME.
Dog Holiday Idea #1
Take your dog somewhere new for a long walk.
I know it's easy to get into a habit of going the same places and same routes. I'm lucky that the wildlife traffic in our rural mountain community means many new scents daily, but if your neighborhood is a bit boring, venture somewhere new.
Remember, it isn't just the exercise, it's the sights and smells that make walks extra interesting for our dog friends.
Dog Holiday Idea #2
If the weather keeps you indoors, hide smelly treats around your house, and play a long game of "Find It !" Or use one of the great canine puzzle toys to engage your dog's brain.
Dog Holiday Idea #3
If your canine pal's age or illness keeps you close to home, never underestimate the importance of just hanging out. You can read, work on a craft project, or even binge watch movies or sports ... all while sitting close enough to have contact with your dog.
During Lilly's long illness, I did a lot of knitting projects sitting in the sun on the floor with her as she slept. Every moment like that is precious when you know your dog is terminally ill.
Dog Holiday Idea #4
Is your dog off-the-charts social? Then plan an outing or meet-up with your dog's canine friends at a park or dog park. Sure, it's fun if you also like the people, but it's really about your dog getting to spend time with canine friends.
This is especially important if your dog is an only dog at home and happens to be super social.
Dog Holiday Idea #5
Try something new. Check with your dog-loving friends for "fun day" events in your community. We're lucky enough where we live to be able to try out various dog sports and dog activities all at one location a few times a year. See what you can find and give your dog the chance to:
- Work livestock
- Try lure coursing
- Do some agility jumping and such
- Dive off a dock (if you live somewhere warm)
Bonus Dog Holiday Idea
And, honestly, if you're just too tired from holiday stress and too much running around, take a NAP with your dog. Nothing recharges your heart like a snuggly pup.