If you asked people what happens at Christmas many would tell you that they eat too much and they get stressed out by visiting family.
That’s a good starting point for what to consider for your dog.
We tend to overeat at Christmas and also eat lots of rich food. Giving your dog a few extra treats will not do him any harm but obviously don’t go crazy. He may be a canine dustbin and therefore be okay with most foods or may be a little more sensitive. Remember what goes in must come out so don’t forget to give him lots of toilet breaks.
Some food is positively dangerous for your dog. Most people now know chocolate is poisonous but dark chocolate with a high cocoa content is particularly toxic. You may think about sharing a little Christmas pudding or mince pies but did you know that grapes in the form of currents, raisins and sultanas are also poisonous to dogs?
You may enjoy working your way through your turkey but don’t be tempted to give your dog the bones since cooked bones can easily splinter inside of his digestive system.
Be careful of what the kids may be feeding your dog and of what may be just within his reach.
Your dog may be the life and soul of the party or a little more sensitive. Either way there is a good chance he will want the option to get away from the action and retire to his bed or crate. Let your visitors know that they should leave him alone when he goes to his bed. This is especially important for children who may not read the signs that he has had enough and so need adult supervision to keep everyone safe and happy.
Gifts for your dog
There is no reason for your dog to miss out on all the fun. You may choose to give him a new bone, chew, or toy but don’t expect it to still be under the tree if you leave it there or for the tree to still be standing!
Perhaps you could buy small gift for a local rescue dog so he can also enjoy a Christmas treat. Check out these Wish Lists:
Your dog may have specific problems around people, food, or toys in which case it may be best to just let him chill out and have a quite Christmas at home. Your new year’s resolution could be to consult a qualified and experienced behaviourist to help you both work through these problems.
Buying a puppy
Are you thinking of buying a puppy as a Christmas present? Giving a home to a puppy should be a planned and well-informed decision with thought given to the next 15+ years of the puppy’s life. This might be the right decision for you in which case wait until the commotion of Christmas is over and give him the best start in life.
Merry Christmas from Mike Garner of Rainbow Dogs Brighton!