Christmas can be a time for overdoing things, however we hoomans have a choice and can opt-out when things get too much. Our dogs don't have the choices we have, so let's help them out this festive period!
1) Give them a designated safe, quiet zone for them away from all of the noise and attention in the house. This is a good idea throughout the year anyway, but especially helpful at busy times and when you have visitors over. Give them access to this space at all times, so they can choose to take themselves off there at any time.
2) Provide them with plenty of calming activities that they can enjoy safely in their quiet place. Lick mats, stuffed Kongs, scatter feeds and safe chews are great options.
3) Keep them away from toxic foods such as:
- Blue cheese
- Macadamia nuts
- Mouldy food
- Unknown fungi
- Christmas trees
6) Have a basic first aid kit in case you need to treat small injuries. If you travel a lot with your dog it's probably a good idea to have a smaller kit in your vehicle. It's important that if your dog has an injury that you get them to the vet as soon as possible.
You could include the following items:
Bandages - Vet wrap - Blunt-ended scissors - Wound wash - Cotton wool - Tweezers - Wound dressing - Self-adhesive tape - Dressings - Vinyl gloves - Foil blanket - Antiseptic wipes - A blanket to use as a stretcher.
7) Make time each day for a sniffy, moochy walk together and allow your dog's nose to lead the way!
8) Play some simple nosework games at home. They are super rewarding for all dogs including pups, oldies, dogs in recovery, anxious dogs, reactive dogs and over excited dogs. All breeds of dog, from pugs to pointers, can benefit and these activities really help to calm a dog, help them feel happier and tire them in a good way. You can use your dog's dinner and build them easily into your daily routine - there are lots of benefits:
- They are fun, rewarding and fulfil natural instincts
- They help build up a dog's confidence and provide mental stimulation
- They provide something positive to focus on around distractions
- They provide a low impact activity suitable for all dogs.
10) Don't use scented candles or air fresheners as these can be toxic to dogs and cause allergic reactions. Essential oils can also be dangerous.
Check out our Boost Your Dog's Feelgood page for more ideas and inspiration.
We hope you all have a pawsome, happy and safe, Christmas!