Caring For Your Dog This Christmas

Creating a safe and festive environment

This holiday season, try to consider the importance of the safety and well-being of your dog. Dogs are curious animals that may show interest in decorations, lights and enticing scents. Therefore, keeping a safe yet festive environment involves a mindful approach to minimise potential hazards for your pup.

  1. Pet-friendly decorations

When it comes to selecting decorations, keep your pets in mind. Try and avoid fragile ornaments that could break easily and pose a choking hazard, and if you go for them make sure they’re far out of the way of your furry friend. Consider using pet-friendly decorations that are non-toxic, something that is more shatterproof and sturdy to withstand curious paws.

  1. Secure your Christmas tree

Make sure your Christmas tree is secure to prevent it from falling over, as this can be risky for dogs, especially smaller breeds. Also, tinsel on the tree can be a risk as it can be harmful if your dog swallows it. It can be a smart idea to put fragile decorations higher up on the tree, where your dog can’t reach, and think about using a pet-friendly tree skirt to catch any fallen needles.

  1. Mindful lighting

Twinkling lights can make your home feel magical, but be careful with electrical wires. Dogs might chew on them and get an electric shock. Keep wires tidy and out of your dog’s reach. Choose battery-operated or pet-safe lights when you can.

  1. Avoiding harmful festive plants

Festive plants such as poinsettias, mistle and holly can be harmful to dogs when eaten, therefore it is a good idea to keep these plants away from your pet this Christmas. Choosing pet-safe greenery to keep the festive feel without risking your dog’s health is important, or even using artificial ones can keep your pup safe.

  1. Giving your dog a safe space

As everyone knows, the holiday times are very busy, loud and can be quite hectic. Therefore, it is essential to create a getaway space for your dog to retreat to somewhere quiet if needed. This could be a cosy dog bed in a quiet part of the house, a comfy crate or just a less busy part of the house that ensures your dog can take a break and recharge.

Special holiday treats for dogs

During the holiday season, you can add a dash of cheer to your pup’s Christmas by spoiling them with a delectable dog treat to celebrate the festive spirit. Here is a list of treat ideas to make your pups Christmas super special:

Homemade dog biscuits: Create festive homemade dog biscuits by mixing peanut butter, pumpkin, and whole wheat flour, shaping them with holiday-themed cookie cutters for a joyous treat.

Turkey or chicken bites: Treat your dog to the holiday feast by offering small, plain, and thoroughly cooked pieces of lean turkey or chicken for a savoury and protein-packed delight.

Frozen fruit lollies: In warmer climates, treat your dog to frozen fruit pops by combining dog-safe fruits with water or yoghurt, freezing the mix in ice trays for a refreshing holiday treat.

Eggnog for puppies: Prepare a canine-friendly version of eggnog using unsweetened almond milk, a small amount of plain yoghurt, and a small amount of honey. Your dog will love this creamy, festive beverage.

Dog-friendly gingerbread cookies: Shaped into festive delights your dog can enjoy alongside yours, these cookies are made with ingredients like molasses, whole wheat flour, and a dash of cinnamon

Dog Christmas dinner: Craft a special dog Christmas dinner by offering your furry friend small portions of lean, cooked meats like turkey or chicken, alongside safe veggies such as sweet potatoes or green beans, for a festive and pet-friendly feast.

Foods to avoid giving your dog this Christmas

Even though the holidays are a time for excess and celebration, it’s crucial to watch out for foods that can be harmful to your pet. Keep in mind the following items that are best avoided for the health of your dog as you enjoy holiday feasts and treats.

  1. Chocolate and sweets

Avoid feeding chocolate and sweets to your dog as they contain theobromine and xylitol, which can be toxic, leading to serious health issues.

  1. Rich and fatty foods

Steer clear of sharing rich and fatty foods with your dog, as they can cause digestive problems and may lead to pancreatitis, resulting in discomfort and potential health complications.

  1. Cooked poultry bones

Refrain from giving your dog cooked poultry bones as they can splinter, posing a choking hazard or causing intestinal blockages, risking your pet’s well-being.

  1. Onions and garlic

Garlic and onions, whether raw, cooked, or powdered, can damage red blood cells and upset your dog’s digestive system, so keep them away from him.

  1. Alcohol

Even tiny doses of alcohol can cause intoxication in dogs, which can cause symptoms including vomiting, confusion, and, in extreme situations, respiratory failure. Make sure your dog stays away from alcohol at all costs.

  1. Grapes and raisins

Don’t feed raisins or grapes to your dog; they can be poisonous and lead to kidney failure, which is very dangerous for your dog’s health.

  1. Nuts

Keep nuts—especially macadamia nuts, which are particularly harmful to dogs—away from your dog. Macadamia nuts are heavy in fat and can cause intestinal problems.

Travelling safely with your dog this Christmas

The festive season often entails journeys to visit family and friends, and ensuring your canine companion’s comfort and safety during travel is paramount. Begin by securing your dog in a well-ventilated and appropriately sized travel crate, ensuring it’s familiar and comfortable for them. If your dog is not crate-trained, consider using a seatbelt harness to keep them securely fastened in the car. Dogs may also become stressed or anxious during trips, so having dog behaviour and calming products on hand can make the journey much smoother and stress free.

Plan regular stops for bathroom breaks, hydration, and short walks to stretch their legs and alleviate restlessness. Pack a travel kit with your dog’s essentials, including food, water, favourite toys, and any necessary medications. It’s crucial to maintain a consistent and calming environment during the journey, whether by playing soothing music or having familiar blankets on hand. If staying in unfamiliar accommodations, take time to acclimate your dog to the new surroundings, making their holiday travel experience as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.

In conclusion, let’s prioritise the safety and well-being of our dogs this Christmas. Creating a safe and festive environment involves thoughtful decoration choices, securing Christmas trees, and providing a quiet retreat for our pups. Spoiling them with special treats is a delightful way to share the holiday spirit, but it’s crucial to be aware of foods that can be harmful. For those travelling, ensuring our dogs’ comfort and safety with well-ventilated crates, regular breaks, on-hand calming products and familiar surroundings is key. By incorporating these tips, we can ensure a joyous and safe holiday season for our beloved canine companions at The PharmPet Co.