The best way to keep your dog off of the countertops and away from the food during the holidays is to prevent them from having access in the first place. Even for dogs that do not typically jump up on the counters, the smells, excitement, and sight of really delicious food can be as tempting for them as it is for us. Keeping our dogs away from areas where food is kept or spread out helps set them up for success and prevents them from getting items that may not be safe for dogs to eat.

We recommend using something like an X-pen to provide a barrier between the dog and the food, especially during busy times. You can also use a room that’s comfortable and familiar to the dog or a crate that they love as a way to give them a little break away from the hustle and bustle as people are eating.

To keep them relaxed and help them decompress during these breaks, you can prepare ahead by having a few high value items on hand. Simple and easy food puzzles and chews, such as a couple of bully sticks or kongs that have been frozen with wet food or peanut butter inside are excellent options. As an added note, putting something like music or a TV on will help drown out some of the noise that may keep your dog interested in being a part of the party.

Now that you’ve got some ideas, what might your pets need to be set up for success this holiday? What things might you need to prepare so that you and your whole family have a smooth and relaxing day? Whichever route you decide to go, we hope you have an amazing holiday and enjoy the time with your pets as well as your family.

Photo Credit: ondreicka, Adobe Stock

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