Having more time to spend with our furry friends is the best thing about the Christmas holidays!
Long walks, cuddles on the sofa with a festive film, yummy turkey dinners and seeing their cute faces when they unwrap their pressies make for a pawfect holiday.
But there’s plenty of hazards for pets around the home at this time of year too – so here’s our guide to keeping your dog safe and happy this Christmas.
Make them a dog friendly Christmas dinner
Daisy loves a roast dinner, so I make up a doggy friendly one, with turkey, watery gravy, carrots, potatoes and peas. Check the turkey for bones, and I always chop it up for good measure and give it a good mix up. DON’T give them stuffing as it contains onions which can make them poorly.
Use the turkey carcass for a tasty Kong
My friend Jane, Layla the White Boxer Dog’s human slave, gave me this tip. Once you’ve finished with the turkey, boil the carcass to create a yummy broth. She pours the liquid into Kongs and puts them in the freezer. Layla is a puppy – you can check her out on Instagram – so it helps cool her gums as she’s teething.
Bake them a Christmas cake
I won’t lie, cooking isn’t my forte, but I have baked this cupcake recipe for Daisy and she really enjoyed it. All you need is an egg, an apple, some baking powder and peanut butter. Don’t let dogs eat Christmas cake as it contains fruit which can cause kidney damage.
Let them open their own pressies
It’s lovely to spoil your pet at Christmas and super exciting for them when they get a sniff of a tasty treat. I’ve got lots of goodies wrapped up for Daisy that smell good and we let her pull off the (very loose) wrapping paper so she feels like she’s joining in. She’s done very well this year!
Treat them to some doggy chocolates
Chocolate contains theobromine which is poisonous for pets. But amazingly a survey by Direct Line Pet Insurance found nine per cent of owners give them chocolate at Christmas. There are plenty of dog friendly chocolates you can buy like the Leafs and Bounds Woof-Bar from Rosewood Pet.
Let them enjoy some fizz or beer for boys!
Most of us like a drinky or two over Christmas and you can share the experience with your pooch. Most pet shops sell Pawsecco now and Woof dog beer comes highly recommended too. Our friend Rocky The Traveller is a big fan. How chuffed does he look with his?! DON’T be tempted to give pets proper booze though. Twelve per cent of men quizzed by Direct Line said they did. Not only is it cruel but it can cause heart attacks.
Create a ‘safe place’ for your dog
Having a house full of people might be annoying or unsettling for your dog, so create a space just for them if they need a break. Daisy has a crate which we got for Bonfire night and I fill this with toys, treats and blankets to snuggle up in if she needs a bit of down time. It’s ideal for when the fireworks start too – the bane of our lives!
Get outside whatever the weather
It’s nice to relax at Christmas but your dog has a routine and it’s important to stick to it. Make sure your dog enjoys their winter walks come rain, snow or shine. Getting outside will perk you up as well, keep the Santa belly at bay and you can always have a snooze on the sofa together afterwards.
Be careful with decorations
Dogs love balls so keep baubles out of reach and don’t use glass decorations. Tinsel should be kept high up the tree and brush up needles to keep them out of their paws. Plants like poinsettias can be harmful and holly and mistletoe are poisonous so keep out of reach.
Create memories to treasure
I remember Danny, Rocky the Traveller’s owner, saying: “Dogs aren’t with us for a long time, so we should make the time we have with them special.” Christmas is a time for us to make a fuss of our pets and have times to remember forever. So make sure you take lots of lovely photos of your dog to look back on and cherish!
Happy Christmas everyone and thank you all so much for the support you have given us this year with our new blog!
Love Rachel and Daisy xxx