Happy Hounds This Holiday Season – Part 1
by Kirsty Lynas // December 2017
The season of goodwill is nearly upon on us, and as dog owners it is important for us to ensure that our beloved canine companions enjoy the festivities just as much as we do.
For some dogs, the holiday season can actually be quite a challenging time so ensuring that we know how to keep our dogs safe and happy is really important.
During winter time our roads and streets are often littered with grit and salt which can irritate the skin of our dogs when they have been out walking. To prevent any problems it is always advisable to wash your dog’s paws, legs and tummies when they get back from a walk. Some dogs may find this a little worrisome, so introducing these bath times slowly and pairing them with something good is one way to make it less stressful.
There is no denying that Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a traditional Christmas dinner, but remember not all human food is good for our dogs, and there a re a few different Christmas foods that can give them quite upset tummies. Dogs Trust have put together a handy guide as to what to look out for over the holiday period, as well as some tasty alternatives! You can find it HERE.
As you might already know, dogs have amazing hearing! Although this comes in really handy when we are calling them back or they are in the garden and hear their food bowl being moved around, it can mean that sudden loud like fireworks and Christmas crackers are quite scary for them, especially as they have no idea what is causing all the sounds! There are lots of things you can do well in advance to help your dog be brave during times like Christmas and fireworks night, but for the meantime the best thing you can do is to try and muffle the noises and help them feel safe. You can find lots more information on that HERE
A big part of Christmas is of course exchanging gifts. Nothing looks more festive than a beautifully decorated tree with presents wrapped with ribbon and bows sitting underneath. However we need to remember that dogs have an built in need to chew. It is a natural behaviour to perform and a whole host of parcels may seem like a perfect chew toy for lots of dogs (as our Senior Coach found out a few years back!). This is a great opportunity to treat your pup - they LOVE wrapping paper so take some spare wrapping and wrap their treats up in it, they will have loads of fun wriggling around trying to get the treats out and this will keep them occupied while you open your presents and give you time to stash them somewhere for you to keep out of paws reach!
Better to keep the presents out of reach, or even better send them off to Santa extra early so he can prepare for delivery!
So as you can see there is lots of things to think about to ensure our canine pals enjoy the festive season just as much as we do. The best gift that you can give to your dog this Christmas is ensuring that our dogs have a fun time at Christmas, despite all the changes and excitement around! You could consider booking them a place on a Dogs Trust Dog School training course as a big "well done"!
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Happy Hounds This Holiday Season which will be published later this month!