With Christmas just around the corner it is an exciting and hectic time for many of us. It can however be a stressful time for the dogs in our lives, with lots of people, noises and an unfamiliar routine to cope with. Make sure that Christmas is as stress free for your hounds (and you!) as possible, by following these top tips:
- Provide a quiet area away from all the noise of people excited to see each other and the tradition of pulling crackers. This could be an indoor crate made into a den or just an area where there is a lovely comfy bed for them.
- Check doors and gates and make sure they are shut before letting your dog through. Politely remind visitors that you have a dog so all doors need to be closed behind them.
- When visiting relatives and friends ensure that your dog is secure and unable to jump out of the car when you first open the door. They will be in an unfamiliar area and could run off to explore or could be spooked by something.
- Ensure your dog is wearing a collar and ID tag at all times in case the worst was to happen.
- Remember that there are several plants and items of food which are toxic to dogs and can therefore be very harmful. Make sure these are well out of reach of your dog and remind visitors to do the same. Plants: holly, mistletoe, yew, ivy and poinsettias, as well as amaryllis, daffodils and hyacinths. Food: chocolate, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, mushrooms, nutmeg, fruit pips and seeds, onions, alcohol and sugar-free foods.
- Prevention is always best but in case something were to happen keep your vet’s out-of-hours or emergency numbers to hand. If visiting or staying with relatives make sure you also know the contact details for their nearest vet.
By remembering these simple key points you and your hounds will be able to have a wonderful and relaxed Christmas and only have to worry about who is going to do the washing up or which Christmas film you are going to watch!