Your Dog at Christmas: How to Have a Pawesome Christmas!
Read our hints and tips to make sure that a yappy Christmas doesn’t end with your furry friend in the dog-house.
1. Keep Your Dog Calm
Christmas is a time when we all like to party but there are plenty of dogs who will find having lots of strangers in the house very stressful. Make sure you give them a quiet space to retreat to, whether it’s their crate or a safe space in a room away from the noise.
Ease their stress with a natural calmer. Calm Xtra is a herbal liquid tincture which can be added to a treat or food. It is incredibly useful for any stressful situation and works quickly to calm and soothe anxious dogs. Use either x 3 daily or 30 minutes before a stressful situation. If your dog is scared of loud noises or fireworks then try our Fireworks Special which includes a 30 day course of homeopathic Noise Remedy and a bottle of herbal Calm Xtra.
As well as using a natural calmer there is plenty you can do to help your dog to understand that strangers need not be frightening. Ask your dog friendly visitors to go with you to take your dog for a walk and let them reward your dog with a delicious treat whilst out. This will help your dog to understand that strangers bring good things. In the same way, strangers coming into your house can roll a favourite ball or toy across the floor as they come in as a way of helping your dog to understand that visitors are fun.
2. Go Easy on the Christmas Dog Treats
Doggy mince pies, crackers and even ‘pawsecco’ are readily available and Sainsburys has taken festivities one paw further announcing a pop-up Christmas restaurant for dogs this year. But be careful! These beautifully packaged Christmas dog treats may seem like a great idea but most of them are crammed full of animal derivatives and grain. If you want to give your dog a treat then how about Christmas dinner? Turkey leftovers make a special treat but avoid all the bones and be careful about giving too much rich, fatty skin, sausages and salty bacon as it could just lead to a dose of diarrhoea. Try spreading out those extra tasty bits over a few days, adding a little to their bowl each day. Think of your dog’s waistline and be sure to skip the Christmas pudding and mince pies that are packed full of potentially poisonous raisins.
3 Bake your Own Dog Biscuits for Christmas
Alternatively click here for a recipe to make Christmas dog biscuits. Healthier, safe and fun for the kids.
4. A Word of Warning
Chocolate and Dogs: Don’t let your dog eat chocolates. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs. It contains a chemical called theobromine. Milk chocolate contains the least but the darker the chocolate the more theobromine it will contain. Theobromine is tricky stuff because it can take about 6 days to pass through your dog’s system so a little chocolate every day over the holidays could build up into an overdose with potentially fatal results. Why not use carob drops instead or chocolates especially made for dogs that will be theobromine free.
Peanut Butter is something many dogs love but be careful to only give them ones with no added salt and especially no added xylitol as a sweetener. Xylitol, commonly found in peanut butter and chewing gum among other things, is lethal to dogs.
Alcohol and Dogs: And it should go without saying that no dog should be allowed to drink alcohol. I have heard of dogs that regularly drink beer in pubs or have a lick or two from glasses that have contained spirits or liqueur with no obvious ill effects but veterinary opinion is against alcohol for dogs.
Christmas Plants: These could be a serious hazard for your dog. That seasonal Poinsettia may give your dog contact dermatitis whilst mistletoe, holly and ivy if eaten by your pet will cause vomiting and diarrhoea and possibly even respiratory and kidney problems. Don’t get too panic ridden, most adult dogs are too bright to eat these things in the first place but be careful with pups who tend to try and taste everything. The odd mouthful of Christmas tree may not do too much harm on its own but if it’s got Christmas tree lights mixed in with it then your dog could be eating glass or be electrocuted; either way, not a healthy combination.
5: Pay Special Attention to Puppies
Remember it’s usually puppies that are most at danger at Christmas as well as for the rest of the year. Puppies have insatiable curiosity, (it’s why we love them so much) and just want to know what’s in everything and what everyone is doing. Keep Christmas presents well out of their reach, keep an especial eye on them during Christmas Day and if you are having a huge crowd of people to entertain, your pup may be happier and safer kept away from all the activity. At the very least make sure that the pup’s, or any dog’s, bed is somewhere peaceful so that they can go for a sleep with no disturbances.
After Christmas Day while you still have time, why not make your first New Year’s resolution to give your dog more of your time and begin before January 1st? Go for lots of lovely walks, good for you and good for your dog too. If your dog’s behaviour embarrasses you in front of visitors then find out where the best local dog training club is and make sure you enrol there after the Christmas break.
And finally don’t forget dogs less fortunate than yours at Christmas. Extra donations to charities are always welcome at this time of year.
Yappy Christmas to you all!