The festive season is upon us, bringing joy, cheer, and a whirlwind of activities. While we revel in the excitement of Christmas, it's important to remember that our furry friends might need a little extra care and attention during this time. With decorations, parties, and tempting treats around, here's how to ensure our canine companions stay safe and stress-free this Christmas.
1. Pet-friendly Decorations: Adorning our homes with Christmas trees, lights and ornaments is all part of the festive magic, but some decorations can pose risks to our dogs. Opt for plastic or pet-safe decorations, or keep them secure and out of reach of your pup. Fragile ornaments, tinsel, and lights can be enticing but potentially hazardous if ingested or tangled up in.
2. Food: Certain foods are part and parcel of Christmas, but can be harmful to dogs. Chocolate, raisins, some nuts, onions, and other ingredients commonly found in festive dishes can be toxic. In addition, cooked meat bones can be very tempting but dangerous for our dogs to eat.
Ensure that any potentially dangerous foods are kept out of reach of your dog and that guests are aware of what not to feed the dog. Having plentiful suitable treats available for guests to offer your dog can help reduce the risk!
3. Safe Haven for Quiet Time: Amidst the hustle and bustle of gatherings, provide a quiet retreat for your dog to relax. Some dogs may become anxious or overwhelmed by the noise, people and increased activity. Set up a cosy space with their bed, favorite toys, and water to allow them a peaceful break when needed.
4. Secure the Christmas Tree & Gifts: A beautifully adorned tree can be irresistible to curious dogs. Make sure your tree is securely anchored to prevent it from toppling over if your dog decides to investigate or play around it. In addition, wrapped gifts can be oh-so-tempting to rip apart for our dogs. To ensure your presents stay intact and your dog isn't at risk from ingesting any of the contents, may sure to keep them out of reach of your four-legged family members. Playpens can be good way to stop your dog getting too close to the tree (and presents underneath it!).
5. Candles and Open Flames: Candles and cosy fires create a warm, inviting ambiance, but they can be hazardous to an inquisitive pet. Keep candles out of reach, block access to open flames or consider using flameless alternatives to eliminate any risk of burns or fires.
6. Identification: With visitors coming and going, ensure your dog has proper identification (a collar or harness with ID tag) and their microchip information is up to date in case they get startled and run off or manage to slip out as visitors arrive or leave.
7. Be Mindful of Possible Triggers: Fireworks, loud music, and unexpected noises are common during the Christmas/New Year season and can distress pets. If your dog is anxious around loud noises, consider creating a safe, quiet space for them indoors and keep them away from potentially stressful situations. If your dog is happy being left at home for a couple of hours, consider whether this might be preferable for them than coming along to all of the festivities with you.
8. Stick to Routine: Amidst the festivities, try to maintain your dog's regular routine as much as possible. Regular feeding times, walks, and play sessions can provide them with a sense of stability and comfort amidst the holiday chaos.
By taking these simple precautions and being mindful of our canine companions' needs, we can ensure that they have a safe and enjoyable Christmas alongside us. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas from Follow My Lead, and all the best for a fantastic 2024!