Christmas is a time for eating plenty, and often we eat too much because the food is just so delicious! The same might apply to our dogs. Here are some tips to make sure your dog is safe near festive goodies. The smell of all the roasting meat and desserts make us all feel hungry so it can be torture to a creature who evolved as a scavenger.
Onions, stuffing (contains onions and garlic), chocolate (theobromine), mince pies and Christmas pudding (raisins) are extremely harmful to dogs. Watch out for the turkey carcass, or any bones, as these can perforate internal organs. They can be easily reached from the worktop, but also from the bin, so take them out as soon as possible.
You might be planning to serve your dog his own Christmas dinner, but be cautious. A sudden change in a dog’s diet can also cause stomach upset, so stick to his normal food wherever you can. I am sure you do not want to end up calling out the emergency Vet on Boxing Day. Keep buffet foods well out of reach, and warn your visitors who may not be used to lifting plates up out of the way.
Turkey or goose for Christmas dinner is fine for most dogs (though NOT cooked bones!), but go easy on the bacon and roast potatoes – the effect of these fatty and salty foods is much greater on dogs with their smaller bodies than it is for us, and even a one-off treat can sometimes make a dog quite unwell.
No matter how tempting, don’t allow your dog to drink any alcohol, nor to help themselves from a carelessly placed glass. They might be attracted to its sweet taste, but no matter what you see on YouTube, alcohol and dogs definitely do not mix.
Make sure that if family bring their dogs along, you can introduce them away from the house first so that they do not land on one another in a heated argument about who gets to sit on which sofa.
Have you bought your dog something to wear, some antlers or a lovely Christmas pudding outfit? Now’s your chance to do some proper training, by teaching them that if they come to you and let you put it on them, they earn a dog treat or two.
I am sure I sound like a big Bah Humbug dog trainer, but you know it makes sense. Enjoy your dog as the happy, normal creature that they are. And don’t forget to give them extra walks to work off all your Christmas goodies. See, they are really good for us!
Wishing a happy, safe Christmas for all dogs and human families who are all kind enough to support this blog!