Christmas is an exciting time for everyone, but there’s plenty about the festive period that may make your dog feel anxious or even cause him harm. Taking a few simple steps during the Christmas period ensures you can avoid all that, making it a happy Christmas for you and your dog!
In the run up to the big day, take care with your Christmas decorations – the tree, the tinsel, the lights, the baubles can all cause your dog physical harm. Make sure there’s nothing chewable that your dog could hurt himself on. Seasonal plants may be pretty, but holly, mistletoe, poinsettia and hibiscus can all cause your dog problems if he eats them, so keep them out of reach too, or choose imitation flowers and foliage.
You may think you’re giving your dog a tasty treat, but turkey bones are seriously bad news for dogs – they can splinter and the sharp bones can cause all sorts of internal damage. It just isn’t worth it. Chocolate is toxic to dogs – 200g of dark chocolate can kill a 25kg dog, and grapes and raisins can cause kidney damage, so stick to safe doggy treats if you want to treat your pooch.
It’s his Christmas too!
In all the excitement, you may have less time to pay attention to your dog, which could lead to a deterioration in his behaviour – chewing or other unwanted activity. Make time for your dog – take him for a good walk (after all that food, you’ll feel better for getting out in the fresh air too!) – and in the run up to the big day, make sure you’ve got some treats stashed away for your dog too that you can give him when things get busy.
Popping champagne corks, crackers, whistles and hooters can all upset your dog, as can all the comings and goings associated with the season. A joyful time for you, but potentially unsettling for your dog. If you have lots of people visiting, make sure your dog has his own safe place – perhaps introduce a crate to make sure he can be quiet somewhere. Remind guests, especially those with children who aren’t used to dogs, to keep an eye on their small people to make sure they respect your dog’s space.
Hopefully none of this is too onerous – just common sense. With a little thought, you can ensure that your dog enjoys the festive season as much as you do – Happy Christmas!