So, in no particular order, you need to add the following items to your shopping list.
A safe Christmas tree
Pine Christmas trees can be a problem, not only for your carpeting but for your dog as well. When ingested, fallen pine needles can cause your dog to vomit, due to the excessive irritation in the throat, and in worse cases can cause intestinal obstruction. When possible, opt for a fake Christmas tree to reduce chances of harm, though, with a bit of common sense, you can still go for a real tree provided you take note of the safety measures mentioned here. Oh, and while you’re thinking about Christmas trees, don’t forget to pick up one of our wonderful decorations to adorn the tree’s branches.
A safety gate
While you want your dog to roam free as much as possible in your home, there may be certain areas that are off-limits. This is particularly true over the holiday season, especially if you have relatives staying, or rooms where your dog could cause an obstruction, such as the kitchen. A safety gate will keep your dog away from restricted areas, but they also give your dog full view of a room and your family, even if they aren’t allowed in - such as when you’re having your Christmas dinner!
With the amount of food around over Christmas, your dog will think he’s in paradise. However, you need to be careful. Not only are certain foods problematic for your dog’s weight (as well as your own), but some, such as those listed here, are dangerous for an animal’s health. Your local supermarket will sell specially designed foods for your dog, with all the meat you normally enjoy at this time of year, including turkey and chicken. The same applies to chocolate. When you’re opening up your box of goodies, you need to keep your dog away from them. Instead, buy special doggie treats as a healthier alternative.
With the amount of people coming in and out of your house, as well as their respective animals, your dog has a higher chance of catching fleas over the holiday period. Fleas can be carried on clothing as well as fur, so you need to prevent these unwelcome guests from setting foot near you and your dog. Have a look at PetAction flea prevention for dogs, which includes spot treatments and special collars that will do the trick. Sadly, they won’t do much to get rid of your other unwelcome visitors (how long are your cousins staying for again?) though if your dog does get fleas, you can be sure those pesky relatives will scarper within minutes.
Snuggling up cosy and warm is something we all do over Christmas, whether it’s in front of an open fire, or lazily wiling away the days under our duvets. Your dog will want to do the same, and that’s why you need to buy your pooch something comfortable to snuggle down in. Not only will you give your dog a guaranteed good night’s sleep, but you will also keep them off your furniture, especially when you are trying to keep it nice and clean to show off to the in-laws when they arrive for Christmas Day.
An ID tag
You would be lost without your dog if they went missing, but Christmas is a time of year when this is likely to happen. With the toing and froing of people coming to your house, your dog could very easily escape through the front door and away from home. Likewise, if you spend a lot of Christmas travelling, you wouldn’t want your dog going missing in a strange locale. Dogs are great at finding their way home, but not if they are in unfamiliar surroundings. Therefore, an ID tag is a must, and for extra safety, you should make sure your dog is microchipped as well. You would have a miserable Christmas without them.
Why should you have all the fun on Christmas morning? Let your dog in on the gift unwrapping session, and let them have something to play with over the holidays. Admittedly, they will probably spend more time with the wrapping paper for the first couple of hours, but there are loads of Christmas toy ideas online, and they will keep your dog entertained for ages. Well, at least until the smell of the turkey rises from the kitchen. On the subject of toys, remember safety. If you have young children, you don’t want your dog choking on any toys that may be littered around the floor. Your kids won’t appreciate their new ball getting chewed up, either. Get your dog its own chew toys, and spray anything else with anti-chew spray to make sure your dog doesn’t nibble on anything he shouldn’t. Note: this doesn’t mean you should spray the turkey!
Despite the cold outside, you will still need to take your dog for a walk. Not only will this benefit your dog, but you will also get the health benefits, especially considering the amount of festive food you will be scoffing. While you shouldn’t forget the poop bags, you might also consider these festive jumpers that will keep Fido warm in the nippy weather. Remember to wrap up warm yourself, too!
Your dog will have a great Christmas if you remember to add these essential items to your shopping list. We hope you all have a good time, so take care, stay safe, and have fun!