You know that Christmas is round the corner when the adverts have a higher budget and production values than the programme they’re interrupting. TV masterpieces such as the Hare and the Bear manage to incite genuine excitement at the possibility of waking up to a new alarm clock on Christmas morning. But what can the canine members of the household look forward to and what treats might end up with a not so festive visit to doggy A&E ?
Dogs often overdo it at Christmas, just like their owners, and too much rich or fatty food can cause stomach upsets and in the very worst cases severe problems like pancreatitis. Specific causes of toxicity include raisins (so no Christmas pudding), chocolate and onions. Even if you don’t specifically give these to your dog they are rascals for getting into Advent calendars or helping with the washing up of a delicious gravy boat. Just have it in the back of your mind that ingestion of a significant amount of these substances may require a phone call to the vets and in serious cases a stomach pump. Cocktail sticks and Christmas stockings complete the line up of items commonly retrieved from dog’s bowels during the season of goodwill.
Lots of visitors and general hubbub can disrupt a dog’s routine, they are great creatures of habit, so give them opportunities for a time out, somewhere they can get away from it for five minutes if they fancy and you can always join them if it all gets too much!
Dogs love spending time with their family and will often enjoy the wrapping of presents as much as their owners enjoy the contents. This is fine, just keep them away from string or thread. If you were to get them a squeaky toy or a new coat I’m sure they’d appreciate it although they won’t feel let down if you don’t. A little bit of what you fancy does you good and I see no reason why dogs can’t have some Christmas turkey and a roast potato. Make sure that their normal diet still amounts to three quarters of their intake and you should avoid any Boxing Day surprises, though dogs with specific gastrointestinal problems should just stick to their normal routine. The best present you can give your dog this Christmas is a lovely long Boxing Day walk. A chance for you to blow off the cobwebs and give your dog the gift they value the most, your time.