Top 10 Ways to Say “Thank You” to Your Dog During the Holiday Season…Part II

Part II

If your thoughts of gratitude this Holiday Season include your precious pup who faithfully brings so much joy and unconditional love all year long - show your appreciation by including your dog in the festivities of the season.  Please help us to find new ways to say "Thank You"!

6. Grooming

A trip to the groomer for a new hair-do or even a spa treatment, blueberry facial and massage can be a fun yet practical holiday choice. Grooming is not only aesthetically pleasing but hygienically prescribed. Bathing and brushing removes bacteria and may uncover tumorous growth or dermatologic conditions that need veterinary attention.The groomer files toenails to prevent painful walking. Extra gentle handling and kind attention from a carefully chosen, knowledgeable groomer will help your dog enjoy the visit.  "I Sit Pretty for Presents"

7. The Gentle Dental

Polish those gorgeous pearly whites! While an anesthesia-free gentle dental procedure cannot match a complete, deep cleaning and oral exam given under anesthesia by your skilled vet tech or speciality veterinarian, neither does it pose the inherent dangers of anesthesia. Experienced practitioners work closely with veterinarians.

8. Environmental Enhancement

Indoors and out, your dog needs both mental and physical stimulation in order to thrive. From interactive toys to re-landscaping your yard in order to create a more natural dog-friendly space where your dog can run, jump, dodge, and perhaps even dig, there are a great variety of options that can provide novelty in your dog's environment and make life more interesting and enjoyable for her. Check out "Landscaping for Dogs" at

9. Chewing

Most dogs love to chew. It's a natural canine behavior. Satisfy your dog's craving to chew with a safe (100% edible or 100% indestructible) chew item or food toy. A safe chew toy or bone can keep your dog happy, contented and stress-free for a long while and free you up to take care of the guests.

Don't forget that cooked turkey or other meat bones splinter and can get caught in the throat or tear the stomach and intestinal linings.

10. Sanctuary

During the bustling Holiday Season, be sure to provide an adequate sanctuary for your dog that is quiet and safe. Too much excitement can lead to unwanted behavior and accidents. You dog will fare much better if she has a designated spot to get away from it all and de-stress. A nice "nook and cranny" type open door crate with a blanket thrown over the top side with a decent view in the corner of the living room, for example, will allow your dog to relax and nap when needed and still feel like part of the family. The dogs are, after all, depending on you to make the wise choices for them.

For those dogs less fortunate than your own, you may want to give a donation or help an orphaned dog through a local breed-specific rescue group or shelter. We urge you to adopt for the holidays, foster or give to the more unfortunate dogs in whatever way you can this season.

Giving is inherently rewarding, so you can you feel good about finding some special way to say "Thanks Buddy" to your year-round best friend while at the same time contributing to his overall well-being and happiness. What's on your dog's wish list?

We'd love you to share your favorite "Thank You" story, comedy or idea right here. Please do!
Warmest Woofs,

Linda Michaels, “Dog Psychologist,” MA, and Victoria Stilwell-licensed Del Mar dog trainer and speaker may be reached at 858.259.WOOF (9663) or by email: [email protected] for private obedience instruction and behavioral consultations near Del Mar and the San Diego Coast. Please visit us at

Originally published RanchCoastNews, Lorine Wright, Executive Editor.  All rights reserved.

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Positively Expert: Linda Michaels, MA

Linda Michaels is a VSPDT trainer, dog training columnist, and owner of Dog Psychologist On Call in Del Mar, CA. Linda holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology with research experience in Behavioral Neurobiology. She is a Behavioral Advisor for the Wolf Education Project (WEP) in Julian, CA and Art for Barks in Rancho Santa Fe, CA.


One thought on “Top 10 Ways to Say “Thank You” to Your Dog During the Holiday Season…Part II

  1. Najia

    My dog's wish list includes only two things: getting lots of hugs, and TENNIS BALLS. She goes nuts for them. So I try to thank her every day by taking her out for a good exercise session -- playing fetch at one of the many beautiful dog parks we are lucky to have in San Diego, or going for a vigorous swim at Fiesta Island or Dog Beach in OB. And when she is getting extra-special treatment...she gets her favorite peanut butter Kong toy!!

    The other way I plan on saying "thank you" is by volunteering at the shelters and Humane Society -- I went and dropped off applications yesterday 🙂 So excited to have the opportunity to help those dogs that are still looking for their forever homes.

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