The countdown to Christmas has begun.
We've got the presents to look forward to, the abundance of food and of course the annual visits from friends and family. However, we all know Christmas can be a stressful time and your dog is no exception. Over the festive period, you may receive a host of visitors, a new Christmas tree will make the home smell and feel different and those flashing lights on the Christmas tree may feel fun but for your dog, it could be a different story. Here’s a few hints and tips to make sure your Christmas is fun for both you and your beloved dog.
If your dog isn’t confident around strangers, then make sure they have a quiet space away from all the fuss and noise, have some doggy treats on hand for when people arrive in case you need to distract or calm your pet down. If there are young children, then keep them away from unfamiliar animals. Your pet won’t appreciate small hands pulling on ears if they aren’t used to it and while it might seem fun to pretend your dog is the donkey from the Christmas nativity, I’m not sure he’ll enjoy it as much as you.
Christmas lights can add to the festive feel and nowadays they come in all shapes, colours and styles. If your dog is used to spending his days in the room where your Christmas tree is, be aware that if you have flashing lights on your tree this can be distracting for them and annoying if they are trying to sleep. Imagine trying to sleep with disco lights going off all around you.
Baubles and tinsel may look pretty on the tree but for your dog they provide a wealth of new playthings. This can be disastrous for your pet so don’t leave your dog unattended with the Christmas tree, no-one wants a visit to the vets in the run up to Christmas Day!
'Awww' we all love receiving Christmas presents. It’s great to see them packed under the tree. If you have a curious dog, then think about where you leave the presents. If your dog loves food, then that gift of artisan cheeses from Aunty Mable placed under the tree could become a welcome midnight snack for your pet. Don’t’ forget dogs have a great sense of smell and some have a little less self-control than others.
Food and Walks
While it’s tempting to give your dog those extra little treats over Christmas remember some foods are poisonous to dogs. Alcohol is also poisonous to dogs so while you might think it’s fun to let your dog join in the festive celebrations, he really won’t thank you for it. See which foods poisonous for dogs for more info.
If you really want to treat your dog this Christmas, then the festive period is a great time to get a few extra walks in. And of course, those bonus walks will help you walk off all those extra calories consumed over Christmas.
We wish you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Julia and the team at Rags & Bert’s doggy day care