Christmas and Dogs

5th December 2012 - in General

Where has the year gone ?

It seems like only yesterday that we all put away our Christmas decorations and said goodbye to the long winter and all its snow. I guess this year the winter seemed longer than usual.

Anyway, as we are reminded in some of the retail stores and supermarkets, Christmas is on its way again and I thought I would write about how to keep our dogs happy and safe during this festive time.

Christmas and New year are on the whole family occasions and those people who own pets, especially dogs, want them to enjoy the festive season too. It is also the time of year where a good number of people like to buy presents, treats, chews and toys for their dog along with giving their much loved canine the Christmas meal.

Whilst there is nothing wrong in doing this, I would like to suggest everyone takes a step back before stuffing the family dog with all sorts of food otherwise the poor dog will end up looking like the stuffed Turkey their humans have just consumed !

Seriously though, by giving dogs too much rich food the chances are your much loved family dog is likely to get an upset stomach and become a little hyperactive which generally is not a good idea especially if you have a house full of guests.

Here are some suggestions which will hopefully help keep your dog happy, healthy and relaxed.

Treats

Only buy treats designed for your pet. As far as possible try to avoid treats with food colourings, sugars and additives as there are implications that given in too larger quantities they contribute to hyperactive behaviour and the colours in the treats/chews have been known to come out on the luxury cream carpet and stain it permanently!

Today there are now affordable "natural" treats available and more and more owners are preferring these for their pets.

Christmas Lunch

Unless your dog is on a special diet or suffering from any dietary problems then there is no reason why they cannot have some turkey and vegetables, BUT, make sure you reduce the amount of the normal diet. By doing this you are avoiding over feeding your dog and less likely to cause a stomach upset. Lets face it, none of us wants to wake up the next morning to a "dirty" kitchen!

DO NOT GIVE TURKEY BONES as they can be lodged in the dogs throat or gut causing pain and therefore the calling out of the duty vet.

Toys

Buy toys suitable for your dogs size and age. Puppies will want to chew, so toys larger than needed and tougher than required are best, whereby the older dog who is past chewing may like a softer toy.

If you are going to friends and your dog is invited too then it maybe better NOT to take the noisy toy with you that a well meaning friend bought as they can be rather annoying after a while!

Always supervise play and remove the toy once it has become tatty. Most good pet shops or dog training schools are able to advise owners on the most suitable toys for their type of dog.

The Christmas Tree and Extras

Tinsel, balls, lights, sellotape, wrapping, chocolate, grapes, Christmas cake, nuts and Christmas pudding.

Be aware that the glass type balls do break and the glass may get into the dogs paws. Tinsel can be swallowed and get tangled inside the stomach requiring veterinary attention.

Human chocolate can be dangerous for dogs, Christmas cake, nuts, grapes, Christmas pudding are all poisonous to dogs due to the sultanas and raisins and are not to be given to them.

Plastic bags and sellotape; Supervise pets as they open presents but also when you open your gifts as sell tape can get stuck in dogs fur. Also like with children dogs, cats and other pets suffocate if they get their head in a plastic bag.

Don't Forget the Dog

Donít forget your dog over Christmas, they need to be walked, fed, watered and kept safe. Please do not leave dogs on their own all day as this is very irresponsible. Do remember to have fun with your dog.

Also allow your dog its own space over Christmas, away from the hustle and bustle of visitors or exuberant children. Pets need time out too.

Hope this will help all dog owners to have a fun and safe festive season with their dog.

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