Puppies and Thanksgiving, how to deal with the chaos.

How do you manage your young puppy during a busy holiday like Thanksgiving??

Puppies and Thanksgiving can be stressful. If left unattended puppies can get into all sorts of trouble. They will pee on the floor, chew on cords, destroy things, etc. Most of the time you are able to keep a close eye on your puppy. However, when holidays hit it becomes a little more stressful. You have so much to do to get prepared. You are suddenly finding yourself being pulled in different directions. Here are a few tips on how to manage your puppy during Thanksgiving that will make your life, sigh, a little bit easier.

1. Drink wine.

The wine isn’t just for cooking you know. Make sure you have some stashed in the kitchen somewhere. Self-care is the best way to deal with life. If you don’t care for wine have a beer, a cocktail or chocolate. Just something that is a small treat for you. When it comes to holidays, family, pets, work, and everything in between it is important that you take some time to yourself. If not a treat stashed in the kitchen, then a bath or a walk by yourself. Whatever you need to do to rejuvenate.

2. Exercise.

Make sure your puppy gets a lot of exercise before Thanksgiving. Take him/her for an extra long walk, go for a playdate at a friends house, hire a dog walker to come and exercise your dog while you’re at work, drop your dog off at daycare on your way to work or the grocery store. Feed your dog his/her meals using a toy that you stuff their meals into. Freeze them so it takes them longer to get them out. Take a few mins here or there to do some training with your puppy. If your kids are old enough to handle the dog have them take the dog outside to play for an hour or so. Do you have relatives who are willing to take your puppy for a walk or play with him/her outside?

The old saying goes “A good dog is a tired dog.” So, find some way to mentally and physically exhaust your dog.

3. Management.

You know that toy you stuffed your dogs meal into and froze? Give it to your dog in his/her kennel while you are preparing supper. This keeps your puppy from being underfoot while you are busy in the kitchen. If you’re dog knows “Go To The Mat” have them practice it while you work. Toss him/her a treat now and again for staying on their mat while you cook. This is also mentally exhausting for a puppy as they want to be with you. You can also do this while the meal is taking place. This prevents your puppy from collecting scraps from under the table and from those very thoughtful family members from sneaking your puppy little tidbits from their plates. When it comes to human food I am all for sharing. However, if you feed your puppy human food while you are sitting at the table eating, your dog will learn to beg. This can get annoying pretty quickly. So management for during the supper is best.

4. Exercise.

Yep, this one is on here twice. After everything is said and done take some time to go for a walk with your puppy. He/she may have gotten a little too much to eat today and may need to walk it off. I don’t know about you but I also eat a little too much on turkey day and need to walk it off. You can turn this into a relaxing family walk if you want or turn it into one-on-one time with the puppers. This walk doesn’t have to be as long as the first one. Your puppy maybe tired by this point already from the excitement from the holiday.

That’s all there is to it!

There you go. This is how I manage my dogs during Thanksgiving. If you make sure their exercise needs are met first the rest of the holiday goes by pretty smoothly. I should also mention that the management part is also to prevent your puppy from running off with the turkey you had just placed on the table. Dogs are opportunists and a table full of food around an unsupervised puppy is an opportunity.

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving Weekend!

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