Christmas will be here again before we know it – sadly, every year, dogs can become casualties during the festive season. So how can we ensure that everyone has a fabulous time including our furry friends? Here are a few tips:
KEEP CHRISTMAS PLANTS OUT OF REACH
Those lovely Christmas traditional plants are poisonous for our dogs, so keep them well out of the way: mistletoe, poinsettia, holly, and amaryllis.
It’s nice to share the Christmas turkey but, remember, don’t give your dog any bones as they can splinter and cause internal injuries.
Christmas trees are mildly toxic to dogs and fir tree oil can cause gastrointestinal irritation. Also, needles may spear paws or get in between or may puncture skin or fall into eyes.
Keep wires well away from inquisitive pets who may fancy a chomp – especially pups.
Dogs may easily mistake these for toys. Ensure that baubles are not at a dog’s level and keep others out of reach of nosy noses! Some ornaments may be made of toxic materials, so keep this in mind.
CHOCCIES ONLY FOR YOU
Remember that chocolate is poisonous to dogs because it contains theobromine. If you want to indulge your dog, buy chocolate specially made for dogs. Keep those chocolate decorations, pennies and advent calendars safely away.
Dogs can be attracted to the sweet taste of alcohol, so don’t leave any glasses around where your dog could investigate and digest the contents – it could make him seriously ill.
GRAPES AND RAISINS AWAY
These should be kept away from your pet. Some dogs treat both as toys but each contains a toxin which can damage the kidneys. This includes mince pies, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding.
WRAPPING PAPER IN THE BIN
Dogs, especially puppies, can be attracted to wrapping paper, particularly ribbons – there is an obvious risk if these are ingested.
STICK TO YOUR ROUTINE
Christmas is a time where we all enjoy ourselves and different people come in and out of our homes. Try as much as possible to keep your dog’s routine, especially if your dog is anxious.
THINK ABOUT BEHAVIOURAL WELFARE
If there is going to be a lot of upheaval in your home, people passing through, noise etc. why not create a den for your dog? This is simply a safe space for him to retreat to. Create it in a corner of a quiet room & fill it with his toys, squashy pillows, blankets etc. You might also fit a synthetic pheromone product nearby or play calming music.
Lots of guests like to bring their own dogs and why not! Sparks can fly though. It’s best to bring both dogs into a larger space such as the garden/yard and make sure that there are plenty of resources for each pet i.e. nothing to challenge the other over.
If you keep in mind the above, hopefully all will be well and our dogs can enjoy Christmas as part of the family – just as they should!