Dogs dressed up in Christmas costumes

Preparing Your Dog For The Holidays

As the holiday season is upon us, there are many things to consider when preparing for all the festivities to come. The holidays can be overwhelming for your dog, but they don’t have to be! Preparing your dog for the holidays can be a fun and enjoyable experience for both you and your furry friend. Here are some tips to help get your dog ready for the holidays:

1) Start with a Grooming Session

Start by giving your dog a good grooming session. This includes brushing their coat, trimming their nails, and cleaning their ears and teeth. A clean and well-groomed dog will not only look great but will also be more comfortable during holiday gatherings.

2) Dress Your Dog Up in Festive Attire

If your dog enjoys wearing clothes, consider getting them a cute holiday-themed outfit or sweater. Just make sure it fits properly and doesn’t restrict their movement or cause discomfort. If your dog isn’t comfortable wearing clothes then opt for a new holiday collar or bandanna.

3) Refresh on Key Obedience Training

Brush up on basic obedience training to ensure your dog behaves well during holiday gatherings. Practice commands like “sit,” “place,” and “off” to keep them calm and well-behaved when there are lots of people or tempting food around. If your dog jumps on people, keep a leash on when company comes to the door. Having control while people are entering will help ensure that no one gets knocked over or drops any gifts or food dishes.

4) Create a Safe Space

Create a safe and quiet space for your dog during holiday parties or gatherings. This could be a separate room, a crate, or a designated area with their bed, toys, and water. This will give them a retreat if they feel overwhelmed or need a break from the festivities.

5) Be Weary of Decorations

Ensure your holiday decorations are safe for your dog. Avoid using decorations that can be easily knocked over, chewed on, or ingested. Keep electrical cords out of reach, and be cautious with plants like poinsettias, holly, or mistletoe that can be toxic to dogs if ingested. If your dog has ingested any toxic plant, contact your veterinarian immediately.

6) Engage in Pre-Event Exercise

Make sure your dog gets plenty of physical and mental exercise before holiday events. A tired dog is more likely to be calm and well-behaved. Take them for a long walk, play fetch, or engage in other activities that will help burn off excess energy.

7) Be Careful with Access to Food and Treats

Many holiday foods can be harmful to pets. Avoid feeding them chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, alcohol, and anything sweetened with xylitol. Keep an eye on your pet during holiday meals to prevent them from sneaking food off the table or from guests. Provide pet-safe treats and keep their regular diet consistent.

8) Prep Your Dog for Guests and Children

If you’re expecting guests, especially those with children, prepare your dog for the additional excitement and noise. Socialize them with new people and teach children how to properly interact with dogs to avoid any potential stress or accidents.


Remember that each dog is unique, so consider their individual temperament, health, and preferences when preparing them for the holidays.

Off-Leash K9 Training, Maryland is Here to Help!

Need extra help training your dog for the holiday season? Our expert trainers at Off-Leash K9 Training Maryland can help you find the right training program to teach your dog the manners and tools they need to behave properly.

Call us at 443-743-3221 or contact us today to experience a holiday season that is enjoyable for both you and your furry friend.

Posted in Blog, Dog Behavior, Dog Socialization.