Christmas is a lovely time of the year when we get to eat all sorts of treats and receive brilliant presents from family and friends. It's a time of giving so it's nice to know that lots of people drop a can or two of pet food into charity boxes for dogs and other animals that aren't as lucky as your four-legged friend because they'll be spending the festive season in dog shelters and other rescue centres. When it comes to pampering your dog over Christmas, there are lots of human things they should not eat (or drink) which is why it could be a great idea to invest in some festive doggy treats for them too!
There are all sorts of safe dog treats available, but make sure you only buy good quality ones that are made by well known pet food manufacturers. Like this you can be sure the ingredients used in the treats are indeed safe for your dog to eat or chew on. Specially formulated doggy chocolate is great and it's safe for your dog to eat – unlike human chocolate which is very toxic to them.
You also need to make sure that none of the gifts or treats you buy for your dog are wrapped up in Christmas paper. It might seem like a great idea to have a few wrapped doggy presents under the tree, but the reality is that ribbons, tinsel, sellotape and other things normally used to wrap presents can be quite harmful to dogs and other pets if they chew and swallow them. The other downside is that if you have a young dog, they might think it's okay for them to open and chew all the other presents under the tree too!
When it comes to buying your four-legged friend a safe toy, make sure you get something that will last even if it means spending a little bit more money on it. The quality of any toys you might be thinking of giving your pet for Christmas has to be top notch – don't be tempted to buy anything that's very cheap because the chances are they are not that well made or indeed that safe for your pooch to play with.
Below are a few safety tips to bear in mind when you're shopping for Christmas presents for your dog:
Plush toys may look like fun but they are not really designed for dogs to play with. The toys are often made up of small bits and parts which can cause a real problem when they come lose and a dog swallows them. This includes things like plastic eyes, buttons, noses and anything else that might put your dog at risk of choking on them. The other thing about stuffed toys is they are “stuffed” which means if your dog swallows any, it could cause a serious blockage. Squeakers found in these toys are a real danger to dogs too so it's best to avoid buying them altogether.
You should also avoid buying any toys or chews that are too small because in all the excitement, your dog might just swallow something you give them whole and again this might choke them or cause a serious blockage in their gut or intestines. This could end up in a trip to the vet as a matter of emergency. It is far better to buy a bigger toy or chew so your dog can spend hours chewing on it to their heart's content. Large toys are harder for dogs to tear apart as well – but make sure you choose a toy that's made out of a safe and sturdy material.
You should also avoid buying your dog any plastic toys for Christmas because they will break very easily. The plastic bits would have sharp edges which if your dog swallows could cause them a serious internal injury. Not only that but as your dog chews on the plastic, these sharp edges will make their gums bleed which could end up with your dog having a serious dental problem.
You should never buy your dog a toy that is battery operated. You may think it fun to watch them play with a toy that's moves around but if they chew on the batteries, a great day could end up being a real disaster. The other thing to watch out for on the big day is if young children receive any interactive laser toys for Christmas. It is really important the light is never shone in your dog's eyes as it would damage their eyes causing them lots of pain and discomfort in the process.
The best Christmas presents you can buy for your dog are good quality, well made toys that will last a very long time. You have to remember that dogs love to play rough, so they need toys that are designed to withstand lots of throwing, tossing, chewing, gnawing and even the occasional burying! The best dog toys are made out of a sturdy rubber or toys that are made out of knotted rope are great because dogs adore playing tug-of-war with them.
It's wonderful to buy your dog a few toys for Christmas but choosing good quality, safe ones that are made out of durable materials is crucial. It will ensure everyone including your four-legged friend will have a great time during the festivities. It's far better to spend a little bit more money and get your dog a top notch toy that will last them for months rather than hours and let's face it there's nothing nicer than seeing a dog play with a new toy on Christmas morning!