The festive season can certainly become a hazardous time for our dogs. Christmas lights adorn our trees with cords hanging around all over the place. The decorations and ornaments can suddenly appear to be an enjoyable play toy and the presents that lie beneath the tree can often become something new to chew on. The Christmas season is not exactly the perfect safety zone for your dog. Even the festive foods we eat can be harmful and toxic.
Chrissy chocolate, cooked bones and spicy or herbed foods can be dangerous if your dog happens to find some dropped food on the floor. Even the environment of Christmas can be overwhelming when there are unfamiliar guests and commotion, which can cause your dog to become stressed.
Here’s how to make sure you and your pooch have a wonderful Christmas this year.
No one wants to have a bare Christmas tree with no decorations. A cheeky little trick most commonly used is to put little bells at the bottom of the tree. While this won’t stop the hazard, the sound will be an alarm that your dog is up to no good! You can at least warn your pooch to stay away from the tree if you know that they are trying to have a play with it. Try placing the bells in some old drink bottle or thick plastic, or place a chew toy beneath the tree so that they choose to munch on that instead.
Ensure that tinsel and baubles are placed high enough that they are out of reach, and keep the lights at the top of the tree. Chewing on electric wires is incredibly dangerous—no one wants to see your dog become shocked!
Try securing the trees to the ceiling if possible to prevent it from falling over. Make sure you sweep up pine needles if you have a real Christmas tree because these can be sharp and are dangerous for your dog to digest.
Having our friends and family over at Christmas is the highlight of the day. Unfortunately our dogs might not agree. Surprise guests, often in large amounts, can be incredibly stressful for dogs. The commotion can be quite hectic for a pooch and make them feel anxious and behave erratically. Keep plenty of pet toys handy to encourage your dog to play with them.
Try taking your dog on a long walk in the morning before you sit down and fill your belly with the biggest meal of the year. Using up as much of your dog’s energy as possible will leave them feeling calm and content throughout the rest of the day.
Keep dog treats on hand that they can eat when you and your guests are dining. They will want to have a bite of your food, but you can treat them with a bite to eat of their own if you have prepared dog food for the day.
At Mind My Lead, we thank you for all of your support throughout the year and we wish everyone in our community a wonderful and happy Christmas to you, your family, friends and your dog!