Updated: Jan 7
Why you shouldn't forget about your dog Christmas Day!
The excitement of Christmas morning is filled with laughter, a busy morning opening gifts, calling family and friends to wish them a wonderful Christmas. Preparing breakfast and drinking divine coffee while your dog looks at you like you just went crazy. A day like no other, as it would appear to your dog.
What is really behind those Christmas Day looks you’re getting from your dog? Most likely, the dog is wishing to get out of the crazy house and do something the dog wants to do. One very important tip I have shared with hundreds of dog owners is, “Schedule dog time.” Yes, you heard that right! Schedule time for the dog, but not the typical mundane some old same old walk. Vancouver has a plethora of places to go and explore such as, Spanish Banks, Lynn Canyon, Lighthouse Park, Buntzen Lake and Iona Beach.
Get out with your dog on some outdoor adventures!
Getting creative for dog things to do!
Think outside the box. Your dog will love you for it… xo
1. Mini Inner-City Excursion
Surprisingly easy, fun and different. An escape the whole family can join in to do. Park at Granville Island, grab hot chocolate and coffee. Head on down to one of the water taxis and take a tour to the various destinations they stop at. Walk along the seawall after being dropped off in Yaletown and head over to another water taxi pick up point. This gives your pooch a fun boat ride with a dog walk that is new and exciting. The water taxi will get you back to your original destination point for a round trip adventure.
2. Run Like The Wind
Destination, The Beach! The highly energized pooch will adore you for the excursion, open spaces if the tide is out, make sure you check the tide schedule. Christmas morning is the best time for exploring the beach and giving your dog lots of running room. Make sure you allow your dog time to say Merry Christmas to other canines and make some new friends.
3. Frolic In The Forest
I can’t tell you how awesome this is for your dog, but it is awesome. The magic in finding the best experience for your dog is to explore a new forest trail. This means do not go to a place the dog has been to. It’s Christmas Day and you truly want to give the most to your dog. Research different locations to find something that will get your pooch excited. Double the duration of this excursion if you have a busy evening ahead of yourself. Your pooch will gladly hit the bed after running and frolicking in the forest.
4. Brat Pack
For some dogs this is the epic bomb of having a blast. Start planning a dog outing which includes friends. The more the merrier for you and your dog. Before Christmas Day arrives start now sending out invites to your doggie friends. Make it a destination outing like the water fall in Lynn Canyon or a fun looped trail where the dogs get to sniff, play, explore, wrestle, chase one another. Pack a snack and a bevy and enjoy the time you have with friends, family and the dogs.
5. Stop and Go
This is the one for you if you are popping into relatives and friends throughout the day and have little time to set aside a couple of hours for your dog on Christmas Day. Busy lives mean different planning strategy. This is designed just for you so you are not riddled with guilt. Let’s say you have six destinations throughout the day. Pack up the car and hit the road to the first destination. Here is where it gets fun. On route pull over to a local park, take your dog out for a poop and pee break while you two take a 10-minute mini walk. Jump back in the vehicle and head to your destination. On route to each destination find a little gem for your dog to have fun visiting. Make the time for your dog even if you need to cut a visit short by a few minutes. Repeat these steps on route to all of your destinations. Your adorable dog will be exhausted by evening because of the amount of extra stimulation your dog enjoyed from a busy day.
Things to remember:
Take a couple extra poop bags
Hot beverage in hand
Pack a snack
Take selfies with your pooch
Plan for your dog’s needs
Celebrate after at a local craft brewery where it is dog friendly and welcoming
Merry Christmas to all from Rocket, Bodhi and Wolfe at Hustle Up Dog Training
Written by Brad Pattison, Dog Behaviourist & Professional Dog Trainer Vancouver
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