The decorations are looking a bit poorly. The tree is more on the floor than the boughs. The eggnog has gone bad. The Christmas music is just annoying now. The hope is in the air that you might grab a few minutes alone without forced cheer and merriment. And, good God, it’s time to be planning for New Year’s Eve. On top of it all there’s a feeling of lethargy, malaise if you will, with anxiety threatening overhead.
You might notice your dog lying listlessly about. Or the opposite – being overly alert to sounds and sights. After all, the doorbell might start ringing again announcing the party masses or the UPS guy might be looking in the window again. Our dogs can feel disappointment and exhaustion or a somewhat hysterical high after the rigors of the holidays just like we can. Top it with the added stress of Our stress and you can see how your dog needs a little help getting through the Holiday Aftermath.
Clean Up the Remnants
- Wrapping paper – Got some good photos of your dog “unwrapping” his present? Now, pick it up! Types of wrapping paper (especially colored) contain potentially toxic chemicals including lead.
- Tape – Remember, sticky tape, um, sticks. It can get stuck in a dog’s stomach and intestines.
- Tree needles – We all know how difficult it is to stuff a dry tree through the door without denuding it entirely. Eating a few tree needles likely won’t hurt your dog though it could cause stomach upset. Worst case scenario – it could cause a blockage in a dog’s gastrointestinal tract.
- Presents – Find a place for all of those presents; do not leave them out to tempt destruction.
Restart the Routine
- Set the alarm – Slept in Christmas morning? Fido is still on his regular time so pull yourself out of bed.
- Leave the leftovers – If your dog got a few human treats over the holidays (approved treats, of course), stop them or at least cut back. Be aware that the change may cause a bit of stomach upset.
- Walkies at usual time – Normally get your dog out three times a day but were a bit remiss while watching the turkey in the oven? Get back to it and add outside time if upset tummies require it.
Check the Vitals
- Weigh in – It’s not only humans who put on weight during the holidays. Your dog may have a bit of a pooch in the tummy as well.
- Stomach upset – We’ve touched on some of the causes above. A bit of loose stool or diarrhea is to be expected but contact your vet if it continues or you notice any odd signs.
Heap On the Attention (but Stay Calm)
- Extra time – Especially if you have some time off, spend a lot of it with your dog. The holidays can mean your dog gets extra attention but it can also mean your dog gets overlooked in the excitement.
- Play period – Did you overspend the budget getting toys and treats for your one and only? Stagger the excitement. Consider putting your dog’s toys away and bringing them out one at a time – limited but plentiful playtime.
- Turn down the chaos – Lower the noise, both audible and visual – music, decorations, extra noise from people playing with presents. Then you and your dog can get a much needed nap.
The confusion of the holidays over, you and your dog can relax a bit. Oh, wait. Maybe not yet. Dogs are really lucky… they don’t have to worry about plans for New Year’s Eve.