If you have read many dog training tips or follow any dog related pages in Facebook , you have probably heard that word more than a few times! We trainers and dog advocates aren’t exaggerating when we talk about the importance of enrichment , especially when it comes to surviving the holidays!

Keeping your dog entertained and happy has A LOT of benefits. Many dogs love playing games with their owners and doggy housemates. Most dogs also love chasing small critters! While that drive to chase and hunt can be frustrating at times, we can use it to our advantage! Hide your dog’s meal around the house in the morning , and watch them sniff out the food AND burn off lots of physical and mental energy.

Surviving the holidays can be even more difficult if you have a chewer on your hands. ALL dogs chew, but some love to chew more than others! Be sure to provide your dog with plenty of appropriate chews, and they should leave the ornaments and gifts alone.

I like to use NATURAL , EASY TO DIGEST chews. Raw bones, Himalayan chews, bully sticks, and split antlers are great choices. Make sure that the chew you pick for your dog matches their chewing strength – you don’t want your dog to bite off and swallow a big chunk, or a vet trip may be in your holiday travel plans.

Teaching your dog a new trick or game can also be fun and rewarding for BOTH of you! Teaching a spin, shake, or other silly trick will engage both your dog and you in some creative thinking . Plus, you can impress all your relatives with the new trick!


Here’s some other tips on surviving the holidays:

  • Take your dog a several short walks throughout the day
  • Explore a new park or walking trail
  • Stuffed kongs
  • Food puzzles
  • Try K9 Nose work
  • Find a group class to join
  • Set up puppy play dates
  • Head to the dog park
  • Play tag, tug, or fetch
  • Rotate your dog’s toys: if you put toys away for a few days, when you switch them out with the toys your dog has been playing with, the fun is fresh again!