Surviving the Trip Home for the Holiday's with Wolfie

How many of us look forward to the trip home for the Holidays?  Before you answer that, think of a car full of kids, presents, suitcases, McDonalds bags, and Wolfie for a 22 hour drive.  After that, think of Wolfie going nuts in Uncle Al's house and then the 22 hour drive home...  Change your mind?

Put the phone down!  You don't have to call Uncle Al and make up an excuse why you won't make it up there this year.  With some planning and common sense, it will all be just fine.  Here are some points to remember:

THE TRIP UP: 
  • Plan out what you are going to need in the car ahead of time and pre-pack.  (You don't need to pack the suitcases, they can be empty.)  The point here is to see if there is enough room for everyone (including Wolfie). 
  • Put everyone in the car and drive around the neighborhood for a few times.  Maybe go and get some gas or drive through McDonalds.  This is to make Wolfie calm with the situation he is about to undertake.
  • Make sure that you have included some of Wolfie's toys and a water bowl.  Also, make sure that you have brought enough food for Wolfie to last the entire trip up and back.  You might not be able to find his same food on the road or at Uncle Al's.
  • If you are going to a cold weather destination, make sure that Wolfie has what is needed to keep him warm.
  • If you are going to stay overnight on the trip, make sure you find a dog friendly hotel and call ahead to confirm that Wolfie will be a welcome guest.
  • On the morning of your trip up, feed Wolfie several hours earlier and make sure he gets out to go to the bathroom before you leave.
  • Stop regularly on the road to let Wolfie out to go to the bathroom and to get some exercise.
  • If you stop for the night, get Wolfie out immediately to go to the bathroom.  Feed him as soon as you arrive so that he will go to the bathroom again before bed time.  Try to have someone with him in the room at all times.  This is a strange environment and we don't want Wolfie to display any destructive or annoying behaviors that might have the hotel ask you to move on.
  • When you arrive at Uncle Al's, have everyone come out to meet Wolfie.  We want to get all of his "stored adrenaline" drained outside before we all to in.
AT UNCLE AL'S:
  • Make sure that Wolfie is with someone at all times.  We don't want him wandering off and doing something destructive out of boredom.
  • Be acutely aware of who is in the house and their temperament towards dogs (and Wolfie).  If we have a family member who is afraid of dogs, we want to make sure that they remain separated.  If we have a family member who likes to play roughly with Wolfie, we don't want that to happen.
  • Maintain the same rules with Wolfie at Uncle Al's as you had at home.  You must maintain your consistency to portray your leadership to Wolfie.  Remember, you are in a strange place and Wolfie is looking towards you for leadership and safety.
  • Set aside plenty of time to interact with Wolfie and get him outside to run and jump.  This will keep him calm while in the house and minimize any issues you might have that would be caused through boredom.
  • Wolfie will still have to go to the bathroom at Uncle Al's.  Make sure that you have the potty pads near him or take him outside using the same schedule you used at home.
  • DO NOT FEED OR ALLOW FAMILY MEMBERS TO FEED WOLFIE HOLIDAY FOOD AND GOODIES.  The same food that makes the Holidays special to us could be poisonous or very upsetting to Wolfie's stomach.
  • If Uncle Al is throwing a Holiday Party, keep Wolfie away from the general area until most of the guests have arrived.  By then, things should have calmed down.  Bring Wolfie out on a leash and guide him around the room.  Do not allow him to jump or bark.  After you see that Wolfie is calm, you can then let him join the festivities.
If you follow these simple steps, the Holidays will be great for you and Wolfie.

For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

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