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As December draws ever nearer, Christmas preparations begin in earnest all across the UK and dogs often enjoy taking part in the whole whirlwind of excitement, meeting new people, good cheer, delicious food and lots going on! However, the run up to Christmas and the Christmas period itself can be very stressful for dogs, particularly those that are a little shy-but even the most outgoing and confident of dogs can find the festive season hard work too!
Whether you fall firmly into the “bah humbug” camp or Christmas is your favourite time of year, it is really important to spend a little time thinking about how the festive season can affect your dog. There are several things that all dog owners should bear in mind when it comes to caring for dogs over December, Christmas and the New Year’s festivities.
In this article, we will share some information about five important things that all dog owners should remember at Christmas, and in the run up to Christmas itself. Read on to learn more.
Having a stable routine and knowing the parameters of daily life are one of the most important foundations that help to make your dog happy and secure, and that keeps them on an even keel. Even very outgoing dogs that are adaptable and take most things in their stride will feel a little out of balance if they do not know when they are going to get walked or fed, and when things get hectic during the festive season, it is all too easy to let things slip.
Ensure that whatever else is going on over the festive period, your dog gets fed and walked at the normal times, and that they do not get forgotten in the festive rush!
Christmas time and the run-up to it can be really good fun for dogs, if your dog catches your excitement and wants to get involved! However, there is also a lot about Christmas and the behaviour of people during the festive period that can be stressful for dogs-even very bold dogs-and appreciating this can help you to keep it all under control.
As mentioned above, keeping to your dog’s normal routine as much as possible is important, and it is wise to designate one member of the family as the person who is in charge of the dog’s care over Christmas, to make sure that all of their needs are met.
Not all dogs like visiting people in their homes, so bear this in mind if you want to take your dog with you-and having guests over to your own home is often fun for dogs, but be aware of their limits, and ensure they have a quiet place they can go to if they wish.
One thing that all pet owners should understand is that it is never a good idea to give pets as presents at Christmas, for a whole lot of reasons. Not only is it unwise and unfair to choose a pet for someone else, but even if you and the person you want to buy for are both on board with it, bringing a new pet into the home during the festive period is not fair on the pet either. Check out this article for more information.
One of the best parts about Christmas for many people and their dogs is all of the delicious and sometimes unusual foods that we tend to enjoy at this time, and there is often a lot of it around!
Whilst it is fine to give your dog the odd carefully thought out scrap or treat, keep a close check on the food that is around at Christmas, and ensure that your dog is not being given dangerous treats, or too much food-and also, that they are not helping themselves!
If you have chocolate decorations and treats on the tree, keep them well out of your dog’s reach, and never leave platters of treats and food lying around. Learn a little bit about some of the popular Christmas foods that can be dangerous for dogs, and make sure that your dog gets through the festive season safely!
Finally, don’t forget that New Year’s Eve, and often Christmas itself usually means that people will be letting off fireworks, and this may take place several days either side of the holiday period too.
Take the same precautions with your dog that you would around bonfire night-walk them before it gets dark, work on reducing their anxiety about fireworks, and take other steps to keep them calm and happy.
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