• Advertisement

  • Dogs at Christmas

    This year with the pandemic affecting us all, Christmas will likely look different than usual. However, there are certain traditions to be maintained and decorations to be hung which will continue irrespective. Let’s take a look, from a dog’s perspective, how the festive season differs from the rest of the year.

    Baking is be a big thing around Christmas. It is a time when a dog’s nose buds are in overdrive. Not just the smell of pies, tarts and breads but of turkeys and sausages being cooked. Be extra cautious that Fluffy doesn’t take it upon herself to “sample the goods” when you’re not looking. Not only do you not want your hard work to disappear but you also don’t want her to become overweight or ill through over eating. Christmas-type food (and drink) that can bad for dogs include:

    • Chocolate
    • Grapes and raisins
    • Garlic and onions
    • Alcohol
    • Cooked bones (splintering may happen)
    • Artificial sweeteners (baking)
    • Macadamia nuts
    • Milk, cheese and dairy: this will very much depend on the dog. Our dog Finn loves cheese and has never had an adverse reaction to eating it. 

    Kitchens are not the best rooms in the house for dogs!

    Decorations abound around Christmas. Not only are they colourful but also tempting for dogs to “get into”. A dog’s jaws can easily crush glass baubles so, wherever possible, try to take away the temptation and avoid unnecessary vet bills. The same applies to decorations hanging from the Christmas tree. Talking of trees, be aware that most trees do not come with a particularly sturdy stand and the slightest pull on tinsel can leave you with a collapsed tree and a real mess to clear up.

    Even with social restrictions this year, a lot of people will invite friends and/or family to their house around Christmas. Dogs that are used to a certain routine and a peaceful existence may find themselves getting stressed with more people in their home. Be cognisant of how extra bodies may affect your dog and allow them the opportunity to find a quiet place to rest. If visitors are not “dog people”, make sure both people and dog are able to co-exist by providing space for your dog away from the people.

    As for Christmas presents, no dog is actively looking for a gift. However, if you decide you want to buy Fluffy something, get something that won’t be ripped to shreds in next to no time or something that she could swallow and potentially choke on. Also, if your dog has a delicate stomach, don’t buy an edible she has never had simply because it’s Christmas. If your dog has not been tattooed or had a chip implant, consider doing that for her. If, God forbid, she does ever get lost, she won’t be able to thank you enough when she gets reunited with you as a result of the tat/ chip.

    Not intending to impersonate Mr. Scrooge with his “baa humbug” approach to Christmas, we all want to survive the festive season and go on to enjoy the new year. Merry Christmas everyone!