Christmas is an exciting time, and not just for us humans! However, there are some additional hazards and points to consider when caring for your dog over the festive period.
Christmas often means a change of routine in one form or another. If you have children, they will be on their school holidays and will inevitably be excited, and possibly noisy. Make sure that they know how to behave around your pet and try to minimise additional noise, or provide a quiet place for your dog to retreat to in another room.
If you have visitors during the festive season, remember they may not be as fond of dogs jumping on them as you are, especially if they are wearing some snazzy Christmas clothes. Your dog may also be wary of people coming into their home, particularly if they have never met them before. Visitors may not also be as switched on when it comes to leaving doors open so keep an eye out for this to avoid any escapees! Consider your dogs personality and needs and make sure they they feel safe and not left out.
Ensure that party nibbles and other Christmas food are not left at noise height. The biggest cause of stomach upsets is dogs eating food which is unsuitable for them.
Be careful about leaving presents underneath your Christmas tree if this is a room your dog has access to. They are experts when it comes to sniffing out anything edible!
Be wary of leaving dogs unattended if Christmas decorations are within their reach. Some dogs will ignore a tree, tinsel, shiny tennis ball sized baubles and wrapping paper for days and then take a sudden interest when left alone for just a few moments.
On Christmas morning, dogs will instinctively pick up on a change of mood if you and your family are excited, bustling about the kitchen and opening presents. Try to keep their routine as normal as possible in terms of feeding and walking times.
Never leave presents lying around the floor, particularly children’s toys, as this can prove far too tempting for a dog who is inclined to chew. They may not understand the difference between a child’s toy and dog toy, which could cause them harm if swallowed and will undoubtedly end in tears for the recipient of the gift!
Never give dogs turkey bones as treat, as small splinters can easily be swallowed and cause an obstruction in the intestines.
Fireworks are now common on New Years Eve and many people turn up the volume on their TV to coutntdown to midnight, followed by loud cheering. All of these factors can prove too much for your dog so plan ahead and if you think they are likely to become stressed, allow them access to a quiet room with gentle continuous background music and remain calm around them at all times.
Thanks for reading,