Wellbeing: Ten Ways To Keep Your Dog Safe & Sound This Festive Season


It’s just two more sleeps until the Big FC pays his annual visit, we gorge ourselves on food and drink, and spend most of our waking hours in a sloth like state. For dogs, it means plentiful tit-bits, a steady stream of visitors offering extra attention, extra time with your pet parent, a warm fire, if you’re a lucky pup, a gift or two. However, with temptations such as tinsel, tiny toys and turkey bones, Christmas can also be a hazardous time for hounds.

To minimise any doggy dramas, we’ve shared ten ways to keep your dog safe and sound this Christmas and New Year …

  1. Try to stick to their usual routine as best as possible, so they don’t get over-excited or stressed by all the sights, sounds, smells and giddiness of Christmas. It’s also important that you find time to play with and give attention to your dog so they don’t feel left out.
  2. Involve your dog in present opening but ensure they have something to occupy them otherwise they’re might be tears before breakfast if he chomps his way through a child’s new toy. For the same reason, look out for any toys left lying around throughout the day.
  3. Keep perilous plants out of paws reach. Poinsettias, Amaryllis, Holly and Mistletoe berries all offer temptation to pets and often with dangerous effects, as they are poisonous and even the smallest amounts can cause mouth or stomach irritation.
  4. With the lure of a tree to pull down (or even pee on) or baubles to play with and smash, dogs and decorations don’t always mix. If your dog is prone to naughtiness keep a watchful eye on them to avoid mishaps like a shattered bauble getting caught up in their paw.
  5. While it might be tempting to pile your dog’s bowl high with leftovers, take it easy on the turkey and trimmings. Stick to the white meat and plain cooked vegetable. Avoid gravy, bones or anything too rich.
  6. Watch the treats. By this we mean those for human consumption, as chocolate and Christmas desserts containing dried fruits are poisonous to dogs and can be fatal. If you discover that your dog has scoffed any of these foods and is showing signs of illness, seek veterinary attention immediately. Same goes for alcohol!
  7. Calm and time out. For most of us, Christmas cheer involves a heady mix of over-excited children, loud toys, lots of visitors, a tipsy relative, and if you’re unlucky a few tantrums or a humdinger of an argument. All can be overwhelming for dogs so ensure they have a quiet space to escape to if it all gets too much and where people know to leave him alone. It’s also advisable to coach any new faces, young and old, visiting your home on how to approach and behave around your dog, to avoid him acting out if he gets scared.
  8. Be vigilant and use common sense so make sure the front door is not left open by visitors, keep him out of the kitchen while you tend to the dinner, and watch out for hazards on the floor such as a gadget that’s fallen from a cracker. If you have an open fire and decide to use it over Christmas, use a fireguard to protect your dog.
  9. Plan for your dog’s care over Christmas. If you’re going away at Christmas, check if you can take your dog with you or alternatively arrange care with a friend, family member or your local kennels or pet sitter.
  10. If you’re planning to see in the New Year with a bang e.g. fireworks, spare a thought for your dog, as fireworks can be really stressful for our furry friends. Refer to my wellbeing guide on how to help your dog cope with fireworks.

Do you have any tips or advice to share that might help our readers’ dogs over Christmas? If so please do share by commenting below.

Most of all we wish you and your dog/s a very merry (and safe) Christmas!

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@TheDogvine Thanks for the share! Hope you liked the end result x