Today, one week before the holidays begin (screams inside), I’m teaming up with the brilliant RSPCA to make sure we all spare a thought towards our pets this Christmas. They are the bees knees and the business after all.
We naturally assume that our pets will adapt to new situations but they often, including young pups like Polly, can feel anxious or stressed when there is a change in their routine, and especially during the holidays where there are tempting distractions at every turn; hello chocolates, tree decorations and merry guests!
Although the Christmas tree, and all its intriguing hanging decorations, haven’t fazed Polly at all she does get overly excited when we have more guests at home than usual, so I was keen to read through the RSPCA’s tips on keeping your dog safe during Christmas to ensure we’re doing everything possible to make sure she’s happy; it’s her home too after all.
Whether you are having guests to stay, or are taking your pet elsewhere, here are some of my own tips for dog owners, and a RSPCA dog biscuit recipe at the bottom of the post too, to ensure that they have a pet safe and happy Christmas!
1| Try to stick to a similar daily routine. Walks, meals and loo breaks should be kept the same (just like humans need them too!).
2| Let your guests know not to give treats to your dog. Or ask them, especially if they don’t own a dog, to ask you first before giving them food. A change in diet, even if only a treat, can cause tummy upsets and no one wants to be ill at Christmas. To my horror, Polly was given a Twinkie last year!
3| Make sure your dog has a safe place of their own to rest in. If you’re staying with family or friends this Christmas make sure you create an area for them and introduce it to them once they are familiar with the home. Bring a blanket so they recognise the familiar scent of home.
4| Hoover up pine needles as often as possible. Sharp needles can easily get stuck in delicate paws.
5| Keep emergency vet contact details to hand and your vets Christmas opening hours for non-emergency appointments.
6| Introduce your pet to unfamiliar noises (loud music, crackers popping, fireworks etc) prior to guests coming over. We did this with Polly prior to Bonfire night last year (YouTube is handy for this) and she’s never been frightened by them since. Although I’ll never understand people who set off fireworks during the day (curses under breath).
7| There are lots of food temptations on offer at Christmas, for hounds and humans too. Try to make sure all food (especially chocolate and leftover bones from the Christmas dinner) cannot be easily reached. Also, make sure there is enough normal food (and medication) to see you through the festive season, just in case you order it online and delivery is longer than usual.
8| Buy new toys as gifts for your pets to keep them distracted while cooking the Christmas dinner.
9| Make sure your dog’s ID is securely in place on their collar and their micro chipping details are correct if staying elsewhere this Christmas. Just in case!
10| Rather than offering your dog titbits (I know it’s hard) offer them dog-friendly treats instead, but something new that they haven’t tried before. Polly loves these DIY peanut butter and banana biscuits (I especially love the snowflake shape), and they are super simple and quick to make too.
Check out the RSPCA for more tips, recipes and gift ideas for your favourite furry friend. Do you have any tips for a pet-safe Christmas?
One more week chums!
Disclosure: Collaborative Post