Happy Holidays!

Tis the season to be jolly… Doesn’t it get earlier each year? Maybe I’m just getting old.

If you have kids, you *might* just be able to drag it out until December 1 when advent-chocolate-eating-season begins. My husband is American so in our house “Holiday” chaos starts today, Thanksgiving. Firstly, the house is adorned with Stars and Stripes for a few days, then the advent artefacts come out, followed swiftly by Christmas tree, decorations, lights, smelly candles, random gifts, guests, parties, nights out… It’s a crazy time of year, especially for a normally-quiet-living dogster. It’s also a very extended party, with normal service not being resumed until January.

Let’s be honest, most family dogs deal fine with the Holiday season. If they are already well socialised, trained and have a private place to retreat to when it all gets a bit much, they are pretty much sorted. If, like me, you have a new addition to the family, you might want to think carefully about how much partying is appropriate this year. Yes, if your pup is outgoing and confident it is likely that the odd supper party isn’t going to be overwhelming, but a house full of guests laughing, drinking and tripping over your puppy in their high heels? Not so much.

There’s loads of info out there about what not to feed your dog and it’s important – a lot of ‘our’ treats are dog-poison. So don’t go there. You also need to think about your decorations: mistletoe and holly are particularly toxic to dogs, and don’t even THINK about risking a poinsettia (as if!).  The tree? Not exactly edible. And then there are baubles (many a dog has been rushed to the emergency clinic after crunching down a few shards of glass), tinsel, presents lying around just waiting to be ripped up. And so on…

poisonous for dogs

So, what CAN you do? Your dog is part of your family after all and you want them to include them in your celebrations.  Well, don’t resort to mincing up the Xmas lunch – these days you can buy delicious designer-doggie-dinners such as this turkey and veg surprise from Billy and Margot or the yummy 3-bird feast from Lily’s Kitchen, who also offer suitably festive treats and even a doggie-biscuit advent calendar should you so wish.

Present-wise, your dog is spoilt for choice and may need some help compiling a Santa-Paws wish list. You may want to splash out on a festively-themed neckerchief from EdwynUK or Houndworthy (I have!) and you can even buy your furry friend their own stocking (no, not to put the puppy in…).  But remember, whilst your dog will probably be delighted with a nice new rope toy or bouncy ball,  the most important gift you can give him / her is some of your precious time: play a fun game, go for a lovely Christmas walk (hound suitably clad for the elements by Love My Dog obviously!) and snuggle on the sofa in front of an appropriately dog-themed movie.

Whatever you’re planning to get up to this Holiday season keep safe, make time for your dog and have fun!

Pretzel stocking

Pretzel’s (personalised) stocking courtesy of Poppy Treffry

(Main image via: http://pixgood.com/happy-holidays-dog-images.html)


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