Our top tips for owners this Christmas
Christmas can be an exciting busy time for all the family and it can be for your dog too, as long as you set your dog up ready for all the changes.
This out of the ordinary time is not always compatible with our dogs. There are lots of people visiting, interesting smells and foods around, as well as weird and sometimes scary sounds such as children shrieks and popping crackers.
Do not let this dull your festive cheer! ScenterBarks are here with our top “Christmas cracker” ideas to help your dog get through the festive season!
Be careful with the food
- Chocolate is toxic to dogs and can even be fatal so keep an eye on those Yule logs, and selection boxes! If you discover that your dog has eaten chocolate, keep the packaging from the product and phone your vet. Your vet will ask for the percentage of cocoa solids in the product and how much the dog has eaten. Once they have worked this out, they can decide on a treatment plan for your furry friend.
- Grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs so all foods with dried fruit in must be kept right out of their reach. These include mince pies, Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, stollen etc. Unlike chocolate there’s no formula that your vet can use to work out the severity of the dose. Some dogs are more sensitive to poisoning than others so always contact your vet immediately if you suspect your dog has eaten any. The quicker the better so do not stall.
- Cooked bones. Although this might seem like a festive treat for your pooch cooked bones can splinter and cause damage to your dog’s throat or intestines.
- Dairy products. Although these aren’t highly toxic to dogs they find it hard to digest lactose so cheese etc should only be given in small quantities. No one wants to be dealing with upset tummies at Christmas.
- Most of us enjoy a tipple at Christmas but alcohol can do far more damage to dogs than leaving them a little tipsy so make sure you keep those cocktails out of their reach.
- As tempting as it is to feed left over Christmas lunch to your dog remember that this is a very rich meal, often high in salt. As delicious as your dog might find this you may well be left with explosive results! If you want your dog to join in on the Christmas dinner, why not purchase a doggy friendly Christmas dinner, such as a Forthglade Christmas dinner which can be purchased at ScenterBarks.
Preparation is key! Decide in advance where you are going to keep these toxic foods so you don’t have to add a costly vets bill on to your Christmas expenses. Keep them out of the kitchen when the turkey is cooking…and don’t forget to keep bin bags somewhere they can’t be raided.
Keep your presents out of reach!
Dogs love to rip stuff up! The rule, do not leave anything valuable lying around, does not stop just because it’s Christmas. If you do not want disappointed children with presents unwrapped and chewed, keep those presents out of reach of those cheeky dogs!
Plan your celebrations in advance
Dogs love to be involved in everything we do and Christmas is no exception. If you don’t want your canine companion cracking crackers and unwrapping presents make sure you plan ahead and have things on hand to keep them entertained. Remember, a bored dog will find their own entertainment!
If possible, make time for a dog walk before the chaos starts or at least before you settle down for Christmas dinner. Then your dog can settle down with a stuffed Kong, or Stagg while you rock around the Christmas tree.
Create a safe zone for your dog
Santa Paws isn’t likely to be the only visitor over the Christmas period. Some dogs are party animals and greet everyone like a long-lost friend but for others lots of visitors can be worrying.
Make sure they have a safe space to escape away from all the chaos and noise such as a cosy crate with familiar cosy blankets and something safe to chew or a room they are comfortable in. Set up some enrichment ie something to chew on - a Kong or a Lickimat (which can be purchased from ScenterBarks)
With just a little bit of planning and preparation Christmas can be a merry time for you are your dog.
Merry Christmas from ScenterBarks!