8 Tips For Happy Dogs At Christmas

8 Tips For Happy Dogs At Christmas Close-up portrait of a dog wearing reindeer‘s horns celebrating Christmas. Bone on a plate as a treat on served holiday table. Christmas vibes

Another year is nearly over and Christmas is just around the corner.

Lots of planning goes into Christmas Day and it’s a good idea to plan ahead for our dogs to be happy as well. Whilst most dogs are social, they do get tired at Christmas and just like children need a quiet, safe place to rest. Early planning will prevent stress when all the business of festivities begins.

1.Have a soft bed prepared in a laundry, crate or kennel area for them to sneak away to away from the festivities. This is particularly important if your dog is not comfortable around people

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2. Keep your dogs away from the table laden with goodies. Many of our Christmas foods can be toxic to dogs including alcohol, coffee, avocado, ham, raisins and nuts. Avoid adding leftover gravy and sauces to your dog’s dinner plate; they can be very rich and cause diarrhoea and vomiting

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3. Place a barrier around the Christmas tree to prevent swallowing of Christmas baubles which can cause a blockage if ingested. Similarly, toys often contain small pieces and batteries which can also be harmful if swallowed

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4. Get the kids involved, making some special dog biscuits and snuffle mats. These can be wrapped up under the tree for their own dogs or given as gifts to dogs of friends and family. Martha Stewart has some great recipes for yummy dog biscuits; see here

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5. Ice blocks made with stock or leftover meat are also a great idea, particularly on a hot Christmas Day.

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6. Most visitors don’t like paw prints all over their good Christmas clothes so put your dog behind a baby gate – or outside – when visitors first arrive. Give them a snuffle mat covered in kibble or small cat treats to keep them occupied while you are greeting your family members

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7. There are many wonderful toys available for our dogs at Christmas. Always consider the size of the toy to prevent choking hazards and ensure you have a toy for each dog if you have multiple dogs. Keep dogs separate when there is food around and ask children to leave them alone when eating as well

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8. Preparation and management can help keep our dogs safe over the festive season. Hospital visits are expensive and I’m sure our lovely Vets would rather be at home with their families as well. Don’t hesitate to contact your Vet clinic however if you have any concerns regarding your dogs’ health at any time

Merry Christmas! I hope Santa is good to you and your dogs!

 

  • Beautiful Labrador retriever playing with Christmas balls, isolated on white background

  • A boston terrier dog reaching for the Christmas cookies

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Debra Coleman

Debi is a professional dog trainer and behaviour specialist. Her passion is to help caregivers of family pet dogs build lasting relationships through education and understanding. Debi is a force free accredited professional who also trains and assesses therapy dogs and Psychiatric Assistance dogs throughout Central West NSW

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