Two reasons why you should create a Christmas exit plan for your dog this festive season, according to an expert

Girl and dog wearing reindeer antlers and hugging at Christmas time
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There’s lots for dogs to enjoy over Christmas and the holiday season, from new people to fuss over them to some extra helpings of the best dog treats

But this time of year can get too much for dogs sometimes – even for humans, it can be intense. So, it’s a good idea to put in place an exit plan for your dog, for when they want some time away from everybody and everything. 

But how can you do so, and what should you consider in your exit plan? You might know how to travel with a dog, but how can you keep them secure and content at your destination? Fortunately, dog trainer and behaviorist Louise Glazebrook has explained everything we need to know about making exit plans in a new Instagram post. 

“If you are going around somebody’s house this Christmas with your dog or your puppy there are two things that you need to do,” begins Glazebrook. “The first is you need to set up your exit plan.”

Your dog needs an escape route, and they need a destination to escape to. Think about where there will be baby gates, and where you can create a safe space. 

Particularly if you’re going somewhere where there will be children, it’s a good idea to find a space for your pup where it’s easy to keep the kids away from your dog, or a space where they’re unlikely to go. You might want to know how to introduce a dog to a baby or child, but even if they become best friends, your dog might still want some time alone. 

But whatever you decide for your dog’s exit plan and safe space, it’s important to have one in place. 

“The second thing is that you need to have had a conversation with the person whose house you’re going around,” Glazebrook continues, “So you cannot just rock up on Christmas Day when everyone’s got a glass of fizz in their hand and expect to put up baby gates or expect to create a safe space for your dog that you haven’t discussed.”

You should have these conversations beforehand – drop your friend or relative a message or call them to discuss the arrangements and make sure everyone’s on the same page. If your dog was invited in the first place, there’s a good chance that your loved one will be open to making some accommodations for them too!

And exit plans shouldn’t only be for when you’re visiting somebody else. Perhaps you’re hosting at home this Christmas instead, but if you’ve got lots of guests coming over it’s still a good idea to create a plan so that your dog can get away when they need to.

Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle, health, culture, and pets, and he has five years' experience in journalism. He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' Golden Retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.