By Jo Sellers at Pippin Pets Dog Training
Christmas is the time for luxury foods, noise, guests, presents and chaos. For our dogs, this can be a time for unsettled routines, temptation and over-excitement or fear.
To give your dog the best chance over the festive period, here are my top tips to help your pets:
Food – many of our favourites are toxic to dogs – alcohol, onions/leeks in our dinners, the salt in our gravy, chocolate in presents and on the tree, and some nuts. Makes sure all plates are kept off the floor and away from the dogs so no scavenging can happen. Make a note of which vets may be offering an emergency service but hopefully you won’t need it.
Long lunch – to keep your pup happier whilst you tuck into your turkey, prepare a feeder toy such as a West Paw Toppl, stuff it full of your dog’s favourite foods, freeze it and then give it to your dog at lunchtime too. Or a super long lasting chew (no rawhide).
Tree decorations – avoid putting chocolate decorations on the tree, and if you can, section off/put a barrier around the tree to keep your dog away. An opened up exercise pen is ideal for this.
Presents – All those smells! Your dog will go looking. Avoid placing down any presents in advance that may contain food. If receiving packages in advance, ask if there is any foodstuff/chocolate in there, and if so, store them safely until the big day.
Visitors at your house – makes sure your dog has a quiet area where they cannot be disturbed, and take them there to rest regularly in the day. Try and keep to their routine as much as you can. Put a stairgate across the door (the DogG8 fits to the door but stores really flat when unlocked) so that your dog cannot escape should visitors leave the door open. Make sure they are wearing a collar and ID tag just in case they do run off – that way you are more likely to be reunited quickly.
Going to visit others? – take your dog’s bed, favourite toys, food bowl so that there are familiar things in the strange home, and again try and keep to your regular routine. Keep your dog on a harness and longer lead if you are walking in an unfamiliar area so that they cannot get lost.
Fireworks – with the stresses of the noise and bustle of Christmas, many dogs then struggle with fireworks. Make a safe place for them to hide, or snuggle to you, turn up your tv and if they are really bad, speak to your vets now so that you can get medical help in advance to help soothe your dog’s nerves.
Finally, enjoy it! Your pup may love ripping open their presents and seeing what delights you have brought them, or helping the kids with their presents! Other gifts will be tempting for your dog and to keep everyone happy, make sure precious new toys or small parts are kept off the floor away from the dog.
Whatever you are doing this Christmas, just enjoy the time with your wonderful 4 legged friend.
If you want to read more info, or listen to our podcast, visit our website Pippin Pets Dog Training
Jo is an ABTC accredited trainer (PACTdogs) using ethical, scientific methods that builds the relationship with your dog and sets them up for success. She is also a Certified Separation Anxiety Pro Trainer, Scentwork UK and UK Sniffer Dogs instructor.
I run online Separation Anxiety training for all dogs that struggle being home alone, and online recall courses if your dog has a tendency to run off! Register your email on our website and you will get first information of all new exciting plans for 2023
Although based in Surrey, Separation Anxiety and Recall can be delivered online for clients across the UK.
This article was posted by Russell Hunt, Founder of Pets Lets, a UK pet friendly property portal offering properties where landlords consider pets as well as a pet friendly relocation and buying service. Prior to setting up Pets Lets, Russell was a London property search consultant for over 25 years for clients looking to buy and rent in the Capital.
Click here to see useful pet cv’s and pets clauses, as well as other pet friendly rental tools on the Pets Lets Portal.
A [Pet CV]( have a look at our example Pet CV’s, landlord references as well as template pets clauses, which can make a huge difference in convincing a landlord to accept pets.
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