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In the run-up to Christmas, adults, children and dogs alike are apt to pick up on the general excitement of the season and eagerly anticipate the day itself. Whether your dog is your family and you intend to have a quiet day with just the two of you, or if you have a large, extended human family who will be joining in as well, there are loads of excellent ways to help your dog to get into the Christmas spirit and ensure that they have a wonderful time of it as well.
If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to involve your dog in Christmas in general and find some new things to do for both them and yourself, check out our list of seven great ways to get your dog involved in Christmas, and also, make sure that they stay safe by checking out some potential festive dangers. Once you’ve done this, if you’re looking for inspiration on how to make sure that Christmas 2015 is the best Christmas ever for your dog, read on for our suggestions on how to plan the perfect day with your dog at the centre of the festivities!
As far as your dog is concerned, the best day ever can only start in one way: with a walk! Christmas day is in many ways the best day of the year to plan an excellent walk, for a lot of reasons-many places that are often busy will be empty or less populated than normal, and due to the season, some areas such as beaches that have summer restrictions on dogs will be available for use. Added to this, other dogs and their owners that you do run into on your walks are also likely to be happy and friendly, giving both you and your dog a chance to socialise and meet new people to share the Christmas spirit!
Why not consider getting up a little earlier than normal, and taking your dog out in the car to a special walking spot while the roads are quiet-this is a great way to begin your dog’s Christmas day!
Making or buying something extra special for your dog to have as their Christmas meal is a great idea to give your dog a once a year special treat, but it is important to plan this out and be speculative about what you’re feeding to your dog, to ensure that it is safe!
Substituting your dog’s usual complete diet with a bowl full of turkey might seem like the best meal ever, but it might give your dog the runs or make them feel sick, as a sudden and large change in the feeding routine is not a good idea for dogs.
Consider swapping out half of their normal meal for a special treat like turkey, and ensure that this is plain white meat that is not cooked in garlic or salted.
It is fine to give your dog a few more treats than normal on just this one day of the year too, but make sure that they are dog-suitable treats, and not something that might make them sick.
Even if you’re planning that the main part of your Christmas day involves just you and your dog, it is a great idea to think about inviting a friend with a dog of their own over for the evening, or taking your dog to visit another home with a friendly dog. Well socialised dogs love company and playing with a friend, and just half an hour enjoying some games with another canine while you take a breather with their owner can provide a nice added touch to Christmas for both you and your dog.
You may well put a lot of thought and possibly, money into buying your dog that special Christmas present that will really make their tail wag, but dogs are just as happy with a cheap new toy or game that they can bring to you to play with! Whatever present you decide to pick out for your dog, make it something interactive so that you can play with it too, and use it to bond with your dog and give them a great time playing with it, rather than finding things to do with it on their own!
Just dedicating half an hour on Christmas day to your dog and giving them your full attention will make your dog very happy, so groom them, give them a massage or otherwise show them that they are your very favourite person in the world in whatever way they like the best!
As well as your epic Christmas day walk with your dog, take every opportunity to give them a couple of extra walks throughout the day too, and simply let them run around or sniff the air to take in all of the sights and sounds that only happen once a year!
Finally, a surprise trip to the vet will soon dampen your dog’s Christmas spirit, so ensure that your dog stays safe and well, and keep an eye out when you’re walking for discarded food and rubbish that might pose a risk to your dog. Take care within your home too to ensure that there are no seasonal hazards around that your dog might get into a mess with, and if you will have guests over on the day itself, make sure that common sense doesn’t go out the window where they are concerned either.
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