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Dog with Christmas Hat On - The Pets Larder Natural Pet Shop

Keeping Your Dog Content this Christmas and New Year

Christmas and New Year is an exciting time of year for most of us, with all the food, friends, family and accoutrements that go with these magical few weeks. However, for our four-legged friends, it can be a little over-stimulating and can cause stress and anxiety issues, potentially leading to a situation where the festive period isn’t quite as joyous as it should be.

In order to make sure every member of your family gets through this potentially stressful period of the year unscathed, we’ve put together a few handy hints and tips so we can all welcome in the New Year with a tranquil headspace. 

Don’t Deviate From Your Usual Routine

During the festive period, many of our usual routines are broken and for your dogs, this can be extremely stressful. In order to combat this, you should try to maintain their mealtimes and stick to your normal exercise patterns too, this should help to reassure your furry friends and keep them calmer when things are anything but, in your household. 

Walks are also essential as they will give your dog some one on one time with you, letting them know they are still an important member of the ‘pack’. 

If you are training a puppy or younger dog it is vitally important to maintain any training routines you have, as deviation from these can cause problems.

At The Pets Larder, we like to set alarms on our phones over the holiday period to make sure we don’t forget our dog’s mealtimes and exercise routines when there is so much going on at home. 

Christmas Dog Safety

Festive Food, Water and Treats 

As we said above, it’s important to maintain the regularity with which you feed your dogs, this not only reduces anxiety by keeping up their routine but reduces the risk of them eating something they shouldn’t too. With so many tasty temptations around over the festive period, it’s important to keep the holiday foods away from our dogs, however much they may want it! Many treats that are synonymous with Christmas for us are really bad news for dogs. Ingredients such as; chocolate, garlic, alcohol and raisins, to name but a few, are toxic to dogs and as such we recommend not giving any of your tidbits to your dogs during the festivities. 

With this in mind, it’s always good to have a plentiful supply of all-natural, grain-free dog treats, so you know your furriest friend will be as content as you are after your festive dinners. 

As any good dog owner will know, it is essential to keep your dogs’ water bowls full at all times, this hint is only here as there can be a lot of distractions during the holidays so we think it’s good to have a little preemptive reminder!

Tension Busting Toys for Dogs

Studies have shown that one of the best ways to reduce anxiety levels in dogs, is with increased exercise. The logic is certainly sound, less nervous energy equates to less anxiety. 

Toys are a great way to get additional exertion out of your dog and keep them occupied when the rest of the family might be otherwise engaged. Popular puzzles toys such as the Classic Kong, stuffed full of Natural Cornish Pet Peanut Butter or your dog’s favourite treats, can be just the thing to keep your dog entertained and stress-free.

Soft toys can also be comforting for many dogs and making sure that their favourite one is available to them during the festivities, however manky it may be, is of paramount importance. These cuddly toys can be very reassuring for your dogs as it is something they build a bond with, as well as it keeping them company at bedtime and aiding a night of good sleep, however many disturbances there may be. 

Keeping your dog healthy at christmas

Safe Spaces

With so many additional people in the house, sumptuous smells and decorations making interiors unrecognisable, the festivities can sometimes all get too much for our canine companions. To counteract this, it is crucial that there is a safe space for your dogs to retreat to when things all get a bit too festive (I may well prepare one for myself too!!). Select a room in the house that can be kept quiet and is furnished with their bed and a few carefully selected toys, so when they need to, they can slip off for a little human-free time. 

Over the New Year celebrations, it is also a good idea to close curtains and keep on a radio or television in their safe space, as there is always the possibility of unsolicited fireworks. For more firework safety tips you can check out our article from fireworks night for the full lowdown, Here>

So, to make sure your dogs have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year, keep up their routines, make sure they have all the toys they need, give them plenty of exercise and provide them with a safe space to escape to when they have had enough. With all this, you and your dogs should be able to enjoy all of the fun of the festivities and make it out the other end feeling as content as you could be.

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