Christmas and New Year’s is one of the most anticipated holiday seasons of the year for many. It’s a time for us to connect and spend time with our family and friends and have some downtime to ourselves. Of course, if you have a dog, it will be to spend time with them and ensure they have a great time too!
However, various issues and potential problems could occur during this time of year for your pet. Here are some top tips to keep in mind when celebrating with your furry friend!
Be strict - only dog treats
Many owners often prepare mini Christmas dinners as a special treat for their dogs so that they get a taste of what it’s to be a part of the celebrations. If you would like to do so, please remember that your dog should have good-quality pet food all year round, this includes the festive periods and most definitely no treats from the table. All foods from selection boxes, nut selections and anything else used as nibbles should be kept away from your dog. It’s important to remember that a lot of food we eat regularly such as chocolate, Christmas pudding, raisins and grapes, alcohol, garlic, onions, etc. are poisonous to dogs and can be fatal to your pet. To be thoroughly sure, you can find a list of food not to feed your dog here.
Keep potentially dangerous items out of reach
Christmas and New Year celebrations are always full of party items such as crackers, decorations, tinsel, various festive flowers and plants. These items are unfortunately not very dog-friendly. Whilst your dog may be well trained, dogs love sinking their teeth in almost anything! So, with all the excitement going around the house, make sure all harmful objects are supervised and kept away from your dog to prevent any injuries or accidents. If you suspect that your dog may have been exposed to a toxic substance or product, please contact your local emergency vet hospital as soon as possible.
Having a real tree
Many people these days purchase artificially made Christmas trees that do not shed or drop pine needles! However, if you’re planning on getting an actual tree this year, remember that they drop pine needles and these can be really dangerous for your dog to ingest. If this is your first real Christmas tree, try getting it earlier and placing it in a designated corner so you can train your dog to avoid going near it. Clear up dropped needles regularly and ideally, have a dog-proof barrier around the tree. This also helps prevent any accidental decoration wreckage!
Prepare a quiet space for your dog
Festive periods are loud and busy for us, and whilst your dog may be extremely social and friendly, chances are it will still want some quiet and alone-time every once in a while. Ideally, it would be good to have its bed placed in a calm place where it’s easily accessible. Use sticks or a crate to create a frame so a blanket can be placed over to make a little tent. This also helps absorb some residual noise that can be heard from the rest of the house. Ensure you keep an eye on your dog and check up on it if it disappears from the room from time to time. If you have children present at your house, make sure they understand the importance of quiet time for your dog in case it goes off for a nap.
“Keep plenty of food and water around the house, so they’re always well-fed and hydrated.”
As you make preparations for the festive season, it’s essential to bear in mind your dog’s needs and general well-being so they can enjoy this time as much as you do! Keep plenty of food and water around the house, so they’re always well fed and hydrated in case you get a little too preoccupied with guests.
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