Christmas with your dog
How to survive Christmas with your dog. The festive season is a time for decorating our houses, giving gifts, eating delicious food and sweet treats and (usually) our homes are busy with the hubbub of visitors. Our pets are creatures of habit and when new arrivals come into their homes and alter their daily routine it can put their noses out of joint.
Gastronomic gifts – one of the wonderful things about this time of year is the giving and receiving of presents. To make them exciting and keep us guessing until the big day, we disguise them in wrapping paper, however, be aware that popping an edible gift under the tree could be more than a temptation to our peckish pooches so you may want to check if the gift should be kept out of reach.
⦁ Christmas trees – whether you like to fake it, or display the real deal there are a plethora of decorations that could tantalise our curious canines. Consider having a ‘wag zone’ clear of baubles and decs to deter them from getting ‘wagged’ off the tree, practise your ‘leave’ command to prevent things being broken, stepped on or eaten.
⦁ Chocolate and sweet treats – there’s not many households at this time of year which don’t have advent calendars, tree decorations, boxes, bars, mince pies and cakes all containing percentages of cocoa content, sultanas and raisins. All generally considered toxic to dogs and best kept well away from our hungry hounds.
⦁ Christmas dinner with all the trimmings – most of us want to include our precious pups in every aspect of our festivities from their own stockings/presents, wearing a Christmas jumper and a joining us for a lovely dinner. Be aware that if your dog isn’t used to eating rich ‘human’ food (and they shouldn’t be!) they may not thank you for this a few hours later! Dogs can’t eat onions and garlic so trimmings like stuffing need to be avoided. To be safe, feed your dog their usual food and the day is more likely to have a happy ending.
⦁ Visitors – pre-covid we usually do the rounds and visit friends and family dropping off presents and catching up on the latest news from the year. This increase of visitors to our homes can send our canine companions into security duty with barking, whining, jumping up and general attention seeking behaviour. Put your pups at ease by teaching your guests to abide by your rules and boundaries, as well as training your dog to accept visitors into your house in a calm and relaxed manner by settling in their bed.