The Christmas season should be a time of rest and contemplation for us, but everyday life usually looks very different: Christmas parties are lined up, gifts have to be bought and everything gets out of balance. Our four-legged companions also notice this and tend to get nervous and restless. The contemplative Christmas season can mean stress for the dogs. Read here how to make the Christmas holidays easy for your dog so that the whole family can enjoy this special time.
Everyday life gets more or less out of joint in the run-up to Christmas. Everyone knows that: Christmas comes “all of a sudden” every year and then it’s time to buy presents, bake cookies, meet friends, and put together the Christmas menu. All of this can also be quite stressful for our dogs.
Please spare your dog the stress of shopping and do not take it with you on the shopping spree. Avoid crowded shopping streets and crowds at Christmas markets when the animal is with you. Long waits at the mulled wine stand in wet and cold weather also affect your four-legged friend and can lead to a cold.
But there is one thing you can share with your four-legged friend: baking cookies. But be careful: That doesn’t mean that you should let your dog nibble on the sugared cookies. Instead, there are recipes for special dog biscuits that you can bake with him. Offer them these cookies at special hours and as a reward.
What to do when things get really stressful?
What to do when things get really stressful?
During the Christmas season, friends often turn up at the door. Your dog’s everyday life gets quite out of balance. Something new always happens that interrupts the usual daily routine. Nevertheless, try to give your dog certain security by sticking to daily rhythms:
- Play with your dog regularly.
- Don’t forget to keep the walks at the usual length.
- Create an additional relaxation zone for your dog in your apartment, for example with an extra dog bed in the bedroom, where guests are usually less active and where it is quiet.
- Be careful with the Advent wreaths! Burning candles are a major source of danger for your dog during the contemplative days. A safe alternative is flickering LED candles. If you prefer wax candles, place them in a place your dog can’t reach.
The festive days: Christmas for sure
As with the Advent wreath, the same applies to the Christmas tree: beware of real candles, although electric fairy lights have now prevailed over traditional candles. But you should also carefully consider the decoration and the place of installation in a household with a dog. It is best to place the tree in a corner so there is less chance of it tipping over. The Christmas tree should be a taboo zone for the dog. Get him used to avoiding the tree, not chewing on it, or even marking it right from the start.
You should avoid tinsel and glass balls, at least in the lower tree zones. These are easy for dogs – especially puppies – to reach. Ingested tinsel or other tree decorations can quickly cause intestinal obstruction in dogs. Therefore, pay more attention to symptoms such as vomiting and loss of appetite as well as a lack of bowel movements at Christmas.
It is best to make your house particularly “dog-proof” during the Christmas season. Do not leave any wrapping paper lying around and use jewelry made of straw, wood, or other natural materials for the Christmas tree decorations: This is safe for your four-legged friend, looks tasteful, and is also environmentally friendly.
No-gos for Christmas are:
- Sweets or other delicacies that we like to eat at Christmas.
- Chocolate: Cocoa is real poison for dogs. Even small amounts contain theobromine, which can be fatal to dogs.
- Speaking of poison: poinsettia, which is popular during the Christmas season, is a plant that is poisonous to dogs. Be careful that puppies in particular do not chew on it. At best, avoid the plant.
- The holiday roast is not suitable for dogs because it is overly seasoned, hot, or salty.
- Don’t leave scraps of food and sweets lying around unattended.
Instead, offer your four-legged friend the dog biscuits you baked yourself during Advent. There is also nothing wrong with a special dog Christmas menu with ingredients suitable for dogs.
We also eat more than usual during the cold season and especially around Christmas, after all, we burn more calories in winter. The dogs are no different. Therefore, they are welcome to get a little more than usual.
Weight control during the wintertime helps to easily dose the extra feed.
For example, the Christmas and winter food for dogs can be supplemented with additives or should already contain these components.
The following additives or components should be included:
- Protein for keratin production (strengthens the coat)
- vitamin B
- Fatty acids (especially salmon oil)
If friends and family come to visit with children, they should also follow the applicable “dog rules”, respect your dog’s rest and retreat zones and only give him dog-friendly treats.
Finally, a tip for the entire Christmas season: If possible, do not leave your four-legged friend unattended in the Christmas room or in the kitchen, where he can easily get to the food.
With consideration and a few rules for dogs and humans, the Christmas season will be a wonderful time full of joy and relaxation for the whole family!