The winter holiday season is a magical time of year. What makes the season even more wonderful is getting to spend Christmas with dogs. You can plan a special celebration to mark the holiday season and make memories with your furry friends.
Christmas with dogs means keeping their health and best interests in mind. We’ve put together a list of 4 easy ways you can celebrate Christmas with dogs to keep you and your pooch happy all season long. These tips include:
- Making sure the Christmas tree is dog friendly
- Being careful about the human food your dog gets during holiday meals
- Travel safe and smart with your pet
- Make time for walks and play with your dog
Make Sure the Christmas Tree is Dog Friendly
Christmas is one of my favorite holidays and holiday decor is part of the fun. However, it is wise to keep your dog in mind when you’re decorating the tree.
Here are a few tips for a dog-friendly Christmas tree:
- Don’t decorate with tinsel: Tinsel is shiny and distracting — and it can block your dog’s intestines if he chooses to nibble.
- Avoid edible ornaments: It might be a family tradition to string popcorn or cranberries on your tree. These might decorations might be an enticing snack to your dog, but they could potentially make him sick. If you must use edible decorations on your tree, keep them above your dog’s reach. It is also wise to avoid decorating your tree with candy canes. Candy canes can contain an artificial sweetener called Xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.
- Hang jingle bells on the bottom branches: Hanging jingle bells on the bottom branches of your tree can alert you when your dog is under the tree — and likely up to no good. This can help you prevent your dog from taking a sip of your live tree’s water or getting into presents.
Be Careful About the Human Food Your Dog Gets During Holiday Meals
We all know to avoid giving our dogs human food, but it can be hard to avoid during this magical time of year. Additionally, family members visiting for the holiday might not know house rules and might try to slip your dog treats from their dinner plate.
There are a few holiday dinner staples that your dog can enjoy. Holiday foods that are safe for dogs include:
- Plain green beans
- Plain carrots
- Boneless, skinless turkey or chicken
Holiday foods you’ll want to avoid giving your dog include:
- Fatty foods like ham, sausages, and the skin from your holiday turkey or chicken
- Stuffing that contains onions and sage
- Grapes, raising or currants
- Cranberry sauce
- Chocolate and other candy
- Anything containing onions or garlic
You might consider feeding your dog before your family sits down to holiday dinner. This way his tummy will be full and he won’t beg for food at the table. Consider giving your dog a new toy or a treat to enjoy while everyone is feasting to keep him or her away from the table. Polar Bear loves Greenies and peanut-butter flavored chews and these will keep him occupied while my family sits down to holiday dinner.
Travel Safe and Smart with Your Pet
There are several things you can do to help your dog safe and secure when traveling. One essential thing you can do when you’re on the road with your pet is make sure that he or she is wearing a collar with an ID tag. This can help reunite you with your dog if you’re ever separated.
Other travel tips for going on the road with your pet include:
- Make sure your dog is secure in the car: When Polar Bear and I are bopping around town together, he rides strapped into his booster seat in the backseat. His carseat has a built-in leash that keeps in securely attached and his seat is slightly elevated to allow him to see out the window. When we take longer road trips together, he rides in his crate. His crate fits in the backseat of my car and he rides comfortably in his secure place. Chewy.com has a variety of travel essentials for dogs and Polar Bear and I are extremely pleased with Chewy’s great customer service.
- Make sure your dog’s microchip information is up-to-date before you travel: Pets can get anxious when they’re out of their normal routine — and for most pets traveling for holiday activities is a new activity. This means your pet might be more prone to getting away from you. Having an up-to-date microchip in your pet can help you be reunited incase you are separated.
Make Time for Walks and Play
Dogs love spending time with their people, and this includes during the holiday season. All the holiday hustling and bustling can take you away from your pet. But wise pet parents know that keeping your dog’s routine during the holiday season is essential to your dog’s well being.
Making time for walks and play is important and can keep your bond with your dog secure. Keep your dog’s routine during the holiday season.
Sharing holiday cheer with your furry friend can make the Christmas season even more magical. Not only will your dog love waking up to treats and toys on Christmas morning, but he’ll love sharing the season with you if you follow the simple tips above. Make your Christmas with dogs a memorable one!