With presents to buy, meals to cook and cards to sign, it might seem as though you've got enough on your plate already at Christmas. But it's important to make sure your dog has as much fun as you do. Otherwise your pooch could end up getting bored and stressed, or potentially put themselves at risk of an accident. With that in mind, here are some tips to help keep dogs safe and happy over the festive period.
Check your decs
Do be careful with your Christmas tree decorations over the festive period. Baubles, tinsel and lights can all really help to set the scene in the run-up to the big day, but they can also pose a risk to your pooch.
All your ornaments should be kept to the higher branches of your tree, while electric cables powering things like fairy lights need to be kept out of sight. Not only will this help to keep your pet safe, but it will prevent you having to mount a massive clean-up operation after he or she starts pulling carefully-placed decorations down.
Also bear in mind that some trees can expose dogs to mould, which can set off an allergic reactions and breathing problems. If there's water in the base of your tree, keep it covered at all times, so your canine companion can't try to quench their thirst with it.
TOP TIP: Getting an artificial tree can be a good way to keep the mess to a minimum. This way you won't have to worry about your dog nibbling on any stray pine needles.
Food for thought
Do watch what your dogs eat. We may see nothing wrong in scoffing pretty much anything and everything during the festive season. But it's important to remember that some human foods can be harmful to our four-legged friends.
Chocolate, grapes, walnuts and raisins are all real no-nos and can be toxic to dogs if they eat enough of them. Keep an eye on what children are trying to feed your pet as well, as it can be tempting for them to share sweet treats, especially if your pooch starts using those big, irresistible puppy-dog eyes.
Giving Fido the leftovers from your Christmas meal may seem better than forcing down yet another turkey sandwich yourself, but check what you put in their bowl first. This is because poultry can contain bones that may cause your animal to choke. And this is even more dangerous at this time of year, when vets are often closed for the holidays.
TOP TIP: Put together a stocking full of special presents for your dog, including treats and toys. This will ensure they don't end up playing with someone else's presents and they'll have their own snacks to gnaw on too.
As Christmas approaches, it can be easy to get swept up by the rush of visiting friends and family. But make sure that you don't forget about your dog. If you find having all those guests over stressful, just imagine how your pet feels. Too much activity can sometimes be a bit overwhelming and cause dogs to get overexcited before they start to bark the house down.
Make sure this doesn't happen by sticking as closely as possible to the normal routine you have with your animal. As much as possible feed dogs when you would on other days and remember to take them out for walkies so they can burn off any extra energy.
And take extra care if you're having little ones round who may have never met your dog before. Children can often get frightened of animals, especially those which are bigger than they are, so make sure youngsters are introduced slowly and carefully to your dog.
TOP TIP: Try to involve your pet as much as possible in the festive celebrations. Take them out on a Christmas morning walk and let them join in with visits to relatives, as long as it doesn't all get too much for them.
If you're planning a big celebration, don't force dogs to watch noisy fireworks displays. The last thing you want is for loud bangs and whizzes to cause your animal to panic. Instead, make a special area for them inside, with some of their favourite toys and blankets.
This will help them to relax if it all gets too much for them. But remember to leave the door open so can come and join in the fun if they feel like it.
TOP TIP: Make sure you've got plenty of warm clothes to hand if you're going to let your dog out and about in the cold winter weather.
This article was written on behalf of helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offers Pet Insurance. Visit us online at http://www.helpucover.co.uk
Do's and don'ts for your dog on Christmas Day
Wednesday, 23rd December 2015